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EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT DAYS
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THE

COURIER


Editorial Board
Co-chairs
Sir John Kaputin, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
www.acp.int

Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG Development
European Commission
ec.europa.eu/development/

Core staff
Editor-in-chief
Hegel Goutier

Journalists
Marie-Martine Buckens (Deputy Editor-in-chief)
Debra Percival


Editorial Assistant, Production and Pictures Research
Joshua Massarenti

Contributed in this issue
Elisabetta Degli Esposti Merli, Sandra Federici, Lagipoiva, Cherelle Jackson,
Francis Kokutse, Souleymane Saddi Mazou, Anne-Marie Mouradian, Andrea
Marchesini Reggiani, Okechukwu Romano Umelo and Joyce van Genderen-Naar

Project Manager
Gerda Van Biervliet

Artistic Coordination, Graphic Conception
Gregorie Desmons

Public Relations
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

Distribution
Viva Xpress Logistics www.vxlnet.be

Cover
Design by Gregorie Desmons

Back cover
Brazier, Niger, 2009. Marie-Martine Buckens




The Courier ac
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Fax :+32 2 2801406

Published every two months in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

For information on subscription,
Go to our website www.acp-eucourier.info or contact info@acp-eucourier.info

Publisher responsible
Hegel Goutier

Consortium
Gopa-Cartermill Grand Angle Lai-momo


The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official view
of the EC nor of the ACP countries.

The consortium and the editorial staff decline all responsibility for the articles
written by external contributors.


Privileged partners




SENHOR

Cultural centre promoting artists
from countries in Europe, Afri-
ca, the Caribbean and the Pacific
and cultural exchanges between
communities through performance
arts, music, cinema, to the holding
of conferences. It is a meeting place
for Belgians, immigrants of diverse
origins and European officials.

Espace Senghor
Centre cultural d'Etterbeek
Brussels, Belgium
espace.senghor@chello.be
www.senghor.be








THE


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009








URIER


THE MAGAZINE OF AFRICA CARIBBEAN PACIFIC & EUROPEAN UNION COOPERATION AND RELATIONS




Table of contents
THE COURIER, N.13 NEW EDITION (N.E)


PROFILE
Jospeh Ma'ahanua, Ambassador of the Solomon
Islands to the EU
Karel De Gucht, EC Commissioner for
Development and Humanitarian Aid
EDITORIAL
TO THE POINT
Climate change could be good news for Africa
ROUND UP
DOSSIER
Tribe. Vague word, yet concrete reality
Race and tribe put to the test of science
A long history of manipulation and loss of credibility
Botswana, an example of how democracy integrates
tribes
Maggy, 'The Madwoman from Ruyigi', a truly
exceptional person
Tribal culture in the face of democracy
INTERACTION
Focus on financial crisis at DevDays
EU Report on development to fight the
fragmentation of effort and lack of resources
Mid-term talks step up
African gas for Europe
Second South Africa-EU Summit
Africa's ICT sector: as dynamic as ever
Grasping Eritrea
Breaking the myth of aid. Dambisa Moyo's remedies
CIVIL SOCIETY ON THE MOVE
Crossing Borders and Frontiers
TRADE
Is a deal on services of interest to the Pacific?
Brighter prospects for sub-Saharan Africa
ZOOM
Makingson Delivrance Nespoulos, stonecutter
The Haitian who is giving a 2nd life to France's
great monuments


OUR PLANET
The sun of the Sahara to help Europe?
2
REPORT
S North and South meet in Niger
5 The long road to democracy
Demographic growth represents one of the greatest
challenges facing the country
6
An important, underexploited agricultural potential
8 The price of fame
The great crossing
12 Reinforcing food safety
13 Escaping the 'uranium monoculture'
15 Niger's population has always been able to step
back when faced with political crises
17 Women in Niger
Centrifugal forces and 'joke kinship'
18
20 DISCOVERING EUROPE
Vilnius
At the EU's most easterly edge at the centre of Europe
21
An ever-changing city
Pasts and present intermingle
22
Lithuania's development policy looks east
Culture live its Vilnius
Culture live hits Vilnius


24 CREATIVITY
25 Africa at the head of design
26 Swaziland: investing in culture
28 Kenya: the winds of change
FOR YOUNG READERS
20 Tribes and democracy
YOUR SAY/CALENDAR




D profile

Debra Percival

"ln enriching experience"





Profile

Marie-Martine Buckens and Joshua Massarenti

Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Development
and Humanitarian Aid

"Better governance is the key to improving aid"


















































































































v.3




























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editorial


his year the European Development Days
(EDD) will once again be a celebra-
tion and testing ground for development.
However, this time much will need to be
done to find solutions to combat the effects of the
economic crisis in poor countries and its attendant
damaging impact on growth, social development
and action against climate change.

As usual, many ideas for a better use of develop-
ment aid will no doubt emerge from the EDD,
and the debates on the subject will be heated, par-
ticularly between the representatives of institutions
and non-governmental organizations. Indeed, many
NGOs will have in mind Dambisa Moyo's corrosive
book, 'Dead Aid', which demystifies so-called 'pub-
lic aid' by demonstrating that you cannot develop a
country while complaining about the rifts that exist
between the experts who make their living out of
the aid process.

All the same, light still shines beneath these patches
of grey as seen in several articles in this issue. First,
Africa has never been as dynamic as it is today in
matters related to information and communication
technologies. Second, the continent has even prof-
ited from the current economic crisis with increases
in the price of raw materials. Third, we can expect
that the forthcoming G20 will favour significant
loans to the continent.

Furthermore, the light of the Sahara Desert also
shines brightly. There, an ambitious project to
capture the region's energy using solar panels
and 'export' it to Europe makes the eyes of many
European investors shine brightly at the prospects
of very real fortunes to be made. However, while
attractive at first sight, the project is a minefield


of potential risks, including an increase in global
temperatures and the degeneration of underground
water deposits.

The cost of this huge project is estimated at hun-
dreds of billions of dollars. As the German philoso-
pher Emmanuel Kant said, "Everything that has a
price does not have a value."

This issue also contains a special report on Niger, a
country between North and South, where black and
Arab people meet. A country where the president
once pushed through the democratisation of his
country but who later infringed his own constitu-
tion so that he could stand again in the elections.
A move that brought about considerable racial
tensions and cast a shadow over his relations with
Western partners...

The special report of this issue of The Courier is
'Tribes and Democracy'. It would seem that these
two words are a long way from being similar in their
meaning, in particular the word 'Tribes', which is
often replaced by the terms groups, communities,
ethnic groups or nations and covers a very differ-
ent reality today. We then turn to the history of
Lithuania, a country that has been mistreated by
outsiders for centuries. The sad history ofthe coun-
try includes episodes when the sons of the nation
attacked the Jewish minority at regular intervals.
Now, today, despite all that has happened in its
history, this nation of limited means is making huge
efforts to come to the aid of its Eastern neighbours
and also has plans to help the ACP.



Hegel Goutier
Editor-in-chief


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009







o the point


The compensation that poor southern countries are enti-

tled to daim from the industrialized world responsible for

the increase in greenhouse gas emissions could allow them

to put in place a carbon-free energy economy. Provided,

warns climate expert Youba Sokona, that the results of
negotiations on climate to be held in Copenhagen this

December are fair and open.


Youba Sokona. coss


..uh, Sokona knows what he's talk-
ii ibout. An engineer and former
i, ,dlier at the National Engineering
h. h ol of Bamako, Mali, he is regu-
larly asked to take part in strategic think-
tanks by international organizations and the
Secretariats of the Conventions on climate
change, biodiversity and combating deserti-
fication. More than that, since 2004, Youba
Sokona has been in charge ofthe Sahara and
Sahel Observatory (OSS www.oss-online.
org).

In Copenhagen discussions, southern countries
will need to make sure that industrialized coun-
tries recognize their climate 'debt'. Do you think
that they will succeed?

To some extent, yes. Some industrialized
countries still question the timescale of
the accumulation of the greenhouse gases


(GHG). However, it is difficult to con-
vince the main emerging countries (such
as India, China, Brazil and South Africa),
to make commitments on reductions. Then
of course there is the position of the United
States, which still poses a problem.

In any event, there are no easy solutions to
the problem of climate change -just that we
must drastically reduce GHG. Adaptation is
not a solution; it is only there to help. And
not everything that is being proposed is in
the form of a reduction. For example, the
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
allows northern industrialized countries that
invest in the energy rehabilitation of projects
ofsouthern countries to gain carbon credits:
it is not a solution. It only allows them to buy
time. Furthermore, these mechanisms do
not represent much in terms of reducing the
greenhouse gas effect. Whether considering


the CDM, or emissions trading, the Kyoto
protocol hasn't curbed emissions. Quite the
opposite, in fact they have increased.

According to estimates, in 2030, we should
have reduced GHG emissions by 80 per
cent compared to 1990. This reference date
is crucial, since some countries are already
putting forward reductions without refer-
ring to a particular year.

But for the southern countries, particularly those
in the ACP, what can they do?

Since the ACP countries did not really
participate in the increase of greenhouse
gases, the implementation of adaptation
mechanisms are fundamentally important.
Yet, structurally, it is difficult to make
the difference between adaptation measures
and measures that encourage development.


COURIER
































. '


Kliptown Floods in South Africa, 1970. 0 Drum Social Histories/Africa Media Onine


Dried clay soil, Zinguinchor Region, Senegal. Reporters
Flood waters in Mozambique. Reporters



However, this differentiation is very impor-
tant indeed.

Industrialised countries have committed to
devote 0.7 per cent oftheir GDP to develop-
ment. We must make sure that this com-
mitment is transparent and that it does not
become just a general holdalll" for meas-
ures of development and adaptation.

Therefore, we would need additional financ-
ing, provided that ACP countries correctly
evaluate everything they must put in place,
both short and long term. But this is a chal-
lenge as, to date, there hasn't been a single
serious survey that would allow country by
country comparisons, or listing what to do
to face these changes.

Any analysis would need to be in three
parts: in the short term, the implementation



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


of procedures allowing a review of national
strategies, covering the entire climate com-
ponent; second, in the medium term (or five
years from now) an evaluation of the neces-
sary financial resources. Third, assessing
the measures necessary in 10 to 20 years
and integrating them into national sectoral
strategies.

Much has been said on the subject of cli-
mate and development. Much of it results
in a lessening of the trust of developing
countries towards their industrialized coun-
terparts. This is something that we must
avoid at ail costs.

Do you think that southern countries, particu-
larly African countries, are wellprepared for the
Copenhagen negotiations?

No. Unfortunately, African countries are
waking up too late. Many regional organisa-
tions have asked for our advice, but very late
in the day. However, alongside the CDM
-the mechanism which must be revised
it is essential to focus on the Adaptation
Fund that has been implemented, and
whose Board will meet in Bonn before the
Copenhagen conference to establish its cri-
teria. We shall have to be careful that the
mechanisms respond to our needs.

This having been said, do you feel that Africa
enjoys an advantage: that it will not have to
convert a non-sustainable economy that it does
notpossess...

We benefit from one advantage: our basic
infrastructure is not in place. So, let us
take this opportunity to create our infra-


structure within the scope of a sustainable
or even carbon-free economic model. We
must promote and defend this approach.
But, the question is, will we have the oppor-
tunity to defend it? Sometimes I wonder.
Indeed, I have the impression that northern
countries don't really like the emergence of
strong southern institutions. For example,
for many years, I have defended the idea
of creating criteria, techniques and tools
for southern countries, allowing them to
adapt to climate change. Along with other
scientists, we have even created a project
that could be cofinanced by Europe. But,
we were told that although the project was
interesting, it was not eligible for action.

Coming back to the CDM, since 1998, I
have argued that this mechanism was not
designed for poor countries. It is a mecha-
nism that should be used in emerging and
developing countries with high revenues,
such as South Africa. The transaction cost
ofthis mechanism is too high for poor coun-
tries, particularly for less developed coun-
tries (LDCs). In no case should this mecha-
nism be turned into a so-called adaptation
mechanism. On the other hand, we could
imagine a global fund for the environment
at the service ofthe sustainable development
of poor countries to help them implement
a carbon-free economy. Basically, what we
need to do is pose the question: how do we
reach the Millennium Development Goals
(MDG) without producing greenhouse gas?

Keywords
Youba Sokona; Climate; CDM;
Adaptation Funds; Copenhagen; ACP;
Africa.






B Jound up






Anne-Marie Mouradian



f former anti corruption


judge heads the Deuelopment


Parliamentary Committee


She was expected to head the Committee on Civil Liberties
and Justice or the Committee on Budgetary Control in the
new European Parliament. However, since last July, Eva Joly
(Greens/EFA), elected on the Greens Europe Ecology list,
presides over the Development Committee, where she replaces
Spaniard Josep Borrell Fontelles.


istrate and anti-corruption judge
was invested in her new function,
the tone was given.
Questioning the BNP Paribas bank on its
presence in tax havens such as Cyprus,
Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, she
called for the "creation of a committee
of inquiry in charge of defining the role
of tax havens in development issues." Eva
Joly justifies her request by the fact that,
in their "Africa workgroup", her colleagues
and herselfhave "all too often seen the BNP
Paribas involved in financial set-ups on pet-
rol that would allow the Heads of States to
release funds in their own accounts opened
in tax havens." She will also fight so that
"development is not sacrificed due to the
financial crisis or climate change." One of
her colleagues predicts: "Eva Joly will be an
efficient and formidable President."
Out of the four Vice-Presidents of the
Committee, French woman Michle
Striffler (PPE, France) is alone in tak-
ing her first steps as an MP. As for British
conservative Nij Deva, he celebrates his ten
years' presence, whereas Romanian, Corina
Cretu (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and
Democrats) has been a member since her
country joined the EU in 2007. Italian singer
Iva Zanicchi (PPE, Italy) entered in 2008.
In contrast to the European Parliament as a
whole which saw more than 50 per cent of
its members re-elected, the Committee on
Development has been largely reconstruct-
ed. We should note the loss of several heavy-


weights, amongst whom the lively Luisa
Morgantini, Marie-Ariette Carlotti, Thierry
Cornillet... The determined Glenys Kinnock
-MEP since 1994 and Co-President of the
Joint Parliamentary Assembly since 2002
-resigned from her functions on 5 June to
become Secretary of State for European
Affairs in the British government; she was
also elevated to the House of Lords. Belgian
socialist Vronique De Keyser, is back for a
third parliamentary term.
The first task of the new Commission
was to audition Karel De Gucht, the new
European Commissioner for Development
and Humanitarian Aid designated to replace
Louis Michel MEP. Answering Vronique
De Keyser who asked him whether his
"legendary outspokenness" would not lead
the EU into "uncontrolled diplomatic 'faux
pas'", the former Belgian Minister of Foreign
Affairs insisted on putting his reputation
into perspective: "in five years, it only hap-
pened once -with Kabila" he affirmed,
assuring the Committee that he is capable of
controlling himself "and still able to tell the
whole truth".
The new European Commissioner for
Development and Humanitarian Aid passed
his first oral examination with flying col-
ours, as he answered the questions of MEPs
on subjects ranging from the financial cri-
sis and climate change to Human Rights,
Economic Partnership Agreements and the
financing of Development policy. Louis
Michel appreciatively said: "he fully masters
the subject."






Round-up


Souleymane Saddi Mazou*




Africa goes to the polis


> Gabon: The son of late president
succeeds his father
Ali Bongo, 50-years old, candidate of the
Parti Dmocratique Gabonais (PDG), son
of President Omar Bongo Ondimba who
died in June 2009 after 41 years in power,
was elected President of Gabon with 41.76
per cent votes on 30 August at the end of a
single poll. Rivals Andr Mba Obam, who
came second with 25.88 per cent and Pierre
Mamboundou who came in 3rd place with
25.22 per cent, and all other fourteen los-
ing candidates contested the result. In their
view, there had been some severe manipula-
tions, ballot stuffing and swelling of elec-
tors' lists. Incidents took place in the capital
city of Libreville and in Port-Gentil, a city
situated at the west ofthe country, a strong-
hold of the opposition, where the French
consulate was set on fire. These opponents,
who aspire for change of political power in
the Central African country with 1.5 mil-
lion inhabitants, were hostile to Ali Bongo
and to France -the country that colonised
Gabon. They accused the country of impos-
ing on them the son ofthe defunct president
to preserve their interests.
An official record reports three deaths,
although the Gabon opposition affirms that
this figure is much greater and demands an
international inquest to determine the seri-
ousness of incidents of violation of human
rights.
The new president has promised an equita-
ble distribution of revenue in this country
-extremely rich in petrol -but where 60 per
cent ofthe population is affected by poverty.

> Congo Brazzauille: Denis Sassou
Iguesso succeeds himself
On 12 July 2009, Denis Sassou Nguesso,
outgoing president of the Republic of
Congo, was re-elected with a 78.16 per cent
of votes expressed as 'valid'. The re-elected
president has already exhausted a seven-year
mandate after the 2002 elections.
This poll did not raise much enthusiasm
from the electors. In the opinion of national
and international observers, polling was
timid following the opposition order to boy-
cott the election.



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


People wait to buy bread at a bakery which reopened following recent postelection violence,
in Port Gentil, Gabon, 2009. Reporters/AP


The opposition petitioned the constitutional
court to request the cancellation of the said
poll that it deems tainted with fraud and
irregularities.
The Court rejected the petition as it felt
that the claims were not backed by suf-
ficient proof.

> Guinea-Bissau: The candidate
of the party in power wins the
presidential election
Mallam Baca Sanha, candidate ofthe party
in power, won the second round of Guinea-
Bissau's presidential election of 26 July 2009
with 63.52 per cent of votes against 38.48
per cent gained by his rival Koumba Yala,
former president of Guinea-Bissau from
2000 to 2003. The latter recognized his
defeat by accepting the results at the polls.
The international community, who funded
this election completely, noted that the
elections went smoothly. The anticipated
election was organised in a tense context
following a series of assassinations.
Last March, President Vieira was killed by
the military a few hours after the assassina-


tion of the Army Chief of Staff, General
Tagm Na Wae, in a bombing in Bissau.


* Journalist based in Niger.


A Gabonese soldier leads a detained man past election posters
in central Libreville, Gabon, 2009. Reporters/AP



































































Pacific's leaders at the 40th Pacific Islands Forum. Pacfic Forum Secretariat


would "make concrete proposals and
recommendations on the future of
the ACP Group to the next Summit
of ACP Heads of State and Government".

Highlighting the group's potential and duty
to combat poverty, he added that the ACP
"can, and will make a difference to the lives
of so many".

"In this regard, the 15 Pacific ACP States
can make an invaluable contribution and
change the concept of development coopera-
tion", he added.

He continued: "We need to revitalise our
relationship with our principle partner, the


European Union, and simultaneously, devel-
op expanded relations with other global role-
players to the benefit of our countries, and
indeed the people. I believe that an eminent
persons group from the ACP would be able
to provide sound advice to our leaders."

In the lead up to the forum, Pacific ACP gov-
ernments and representatives from regional
organizations discussed EU funding and
trade relations in the region. Chaired by the
Premier ofNiue, the Hon. Toke Talagi, lead-
ers expressed appreciation at the signing of
the 2008 2013 10thEuropean Development
Fund Pacific Regional Indicative Programme
between the European Commission and the
Pacific region on 15 November, 2008.


Of the e95M allocated by the EC for the
programme, C85M has been earmarked for
two main focal areas: e45M for Regional
Economic Integration and e40M for
Sustainable Management of Natural
Resources and the Environment. e10M has
been allocated for organisational strengthen-
ing and civil society participation.

The preliminary meeting and subsequent
forum were attended by Pacific ACP leaders
and representatives from the Cook Islands,
Federated States of Micronesia, Niue,
Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of
Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands,
Tuvalu, Tonga and Vanuatu, Kiribati, Palau
and Timor Leste.


COURIER


Sir John Kaputin. ACP secretariat







Round-up


Malarial Mosquito. o Reporters/Sheila Terry (Science Photo library)




Up to 63M will be allocated to African research projects in 2010, aiming to improve health
conditions as well as water and food security. This special initiative aims to reinforce the
research base of the continent, allowing it to contribute to its own development.


covers some of the scientific and
technological areas listed in the
EU-Africa Strategic Partnership
agreed on by the European Commission
and the African Union Commission in
December 2007. The financing will be
based on a call for proposals officially pre-
sented on 18 September 2009 in Brussels
to ail potentially interested parties. EU
Commissioner for Science and Research
Janez Potocnik said: "With this 'Africa call'
we are turning words into actions. The
EU-Africa Strategic Partnership is harness-
ing the potential of science and technology
to meet the water, food security and health
challenges of Africa. It is getting researchers
from Europe and Africa to work together in
the true spirit of this Partnership. We are
working not only for, but with Africa."

This call for proposals is the first one
entirely dedicated to the research initia-
tive for Africa under the EU's Framework
Programme for Research (FP7) granted



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


with a budget of C50.5bn for the period
2007-2013. The call for proposals brings
together several funding themes under FP7:
Health (e39M), Environment (e17.5M)
and Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and
Biotechnology (e6.5M). The projects select-
ed will include ail ofthe above scientific and
technological research fields but will also
take into account broader socio-economic
factors such as migration and resettlement,
urbanisation, health care systems, variation
of food and energy prices and so on.

The 'Africa call' is structured around two
major issues:

*'Water and Food Security': projects
selected will strive to ensure both safe
drinking water and good sanitation and
hygiene. They will aim to revitalise agricul-
ture, promote more sustainable production
systems and ensure food security. They will
also address Africa's vulnerability to the
expected climate change impacts by setting
up early-warning and forecasting systems


to address risks such as drought or vector-
borne diseases.

*'Better Health for Africa': projects select-
ed will focus on reducing the malaria dis-
ease burden, improving early diagnosis and
treatment of the most frequent infection-
related cancers, improving maternal and
newborn health, assessing migrant health
and addressing the shortage of healthcare
personnel.


> Collaboratiue research
and capacity-building

Ail projects will involve local stakeholders.
Depending on the project, at least 2 or 3
partners must be established in an African
country. The projects selected will foster
capacity-building through the promotion of
academic research and training, the setting
up of networks, and the building of sustain-
able capacity for health research. M.M.B.

























































A dossier by Hegel Goutier

T therefore, what does the word
tribe mean or not mean? Is it
only linked to tribalism? In other
words, does he or she who claims
to be part of a tribe make or focus every
choice -particularly political -according to
this belonging? More than that, is that view
incompatible with democracy and fair gov-
ernance; is it more incompatible than other
links: social class, where you live (urban or
rural), educational standards, or religion?

Essentially, the word 'tribe' is not an issue
and only takes on a negative connotation in
the languages ofAfrican or far eastern tribes.
For instance, in Swahili, tribe translates into
'Kabila'. In English, the verb 'kabili' means
'to face towards' (Teach Yourself, by D. V.
Perrott, Ed Hodder & Stoughton UK 1999);
in French, facing forward, facing to, lean-
ing towards, aiming at, being well disposed
to, having a tendency to and more rarely,
'affronting' (Swahili-French dictionary by
Alphone Lenselaer, Ed Karthala, 1983). A


Swahiliphone will feel no qualms in using it
towards his community.


> Tribe in the ancient
European world

When the city of Athens was still a king-
dom, its population was divided into four
tribes (phylai) that were more like subdivi-
sions, in principle ethnic, of people that
were meant to descend from the same
ancestors. The same would have applied to
the twelve tribes of Israel. A vague refer-
ence to the word tribe appears in ancient
Rome and finds its origins in 'tri' (three)
for the three social classes of society.
However, etymologists such as Alain Rey
and his team (Dictionnaire historique de la
Langue Franaise Le Robert) dispute this,
since Roman society was divided not into
three but into four social groups. All the
same, numerous encyclopaedias refer to
this etymology.


Many reference books display a form of
embarrassment for the term. Or they give a
warning with a special note, as in the case
of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (2006):
"In the historical context, the word 'tribe' is
broadly accepted... however, when used to
refer to traditional societies today, the word
can be problematic, because it is associ-
ated with past attitudes ofwhite colonialists
towards so-called primitive or uncivilised
peoples. It is therefore generally preferable
to use alternative terms such as 'community'
or 'people"'. This clear explanation does not
question the 'tribal' content but the preju-
dices turned against it. The 'Nouveau Petit
Robert de la Langue Franaise 2008' uses
the participle 'supposed' with the aim of
safeguarding its neutrality: "Groupe social
et politique fond sur une parent eth-
nique relle ou suppose, chez les peuples
organisation primitive" (social and political
group founded on a real or supposed ethnic
kinship in people living in primitive social
organizations).


COURIER







Tribes and Democracy Dossier


We could add that many extremely practical
words, devoid of any negative connotation,
originate from the word 'tribe': attributing,
contributing, retribution, tribune, tribunal, or
tribute. Most dictionaries explicitly propose
the alternative terms of'ethnic group', 'group'
or 'community', not because they are more
precise but because they are less charged with
the prejudices of the colonial era.

All these thoughts contribute to a cer-
tain reality. Whatever word is used, there
is an underlying prejudice. Consider that
we rarely hear about Flemish, Catalan or
Basque ethnic groups, instead the highly-
rated term 'ethnic group' is being broadly


used to define populations from Africa,
the Pacific, Indians in America or other
areas. In the last category, we find expres-
sions that the media keep trotting out when
referring to Afghanistan and its buffer zone
with Pakistan: "Pashtun, Baloch, Mehsud,
Hazara tribes or ethnic groups or ethnic
areas"; or still, "Uyghur and Zhungeer
tribes facing the Han ethnic group" during
the civil conflicts in China last June.

Moreover, 'ethnic group' is a phrase too
greatly linked to genetics not to prove
embarrassing. When the word does not
remain vague as in: "The whole of individu-
als brought together by a certain number of


characteristics ofcivilisation, particularlythe
community of language and culture... The
French ethnic group encompasses Walloon
Belgium, French-speaking Switzerland,
Canada", states Le Petit Robert.

The word 'tribe' cannot be used in terms
of democracy, just as long as the sense of
belonging of one part of a nation is respect-
ed while failing to recognize the rights of
the other.



Keywords
Tribe; ethnic group; community.







Dossier Tribes and Democracy


on tribes in what is now Ethiopia
participated in the creation of what
we now consider the three monothe-
ist religions. Elsewhere, tribes from Nigeria
created such basic techniques for human
development as the development of iron.
Furthermore, the first pharaohs developed
their knowledge and techniques in Nubia (now
Sudan). Limited population? Not necessarily.
Witness the Yoruba tribe that can be found in
Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Togo. In Nigeria
alone, its current population is estimated at
more than 30 million (half the population of
France) and the entire tribe -wherever they
are -speak the same Yoruba language.


> Human beings: too nomadic
to be from one race

From the biological perspective, African
tribes are no more genetically united than
any other community around the world.
Interestingly, one does not claim to belong
to a tribe just by blood, but also by adoption
or marriage and often by the simple fact of
residence.

No human community lives in isolation long
enough to become a genetically homogenous
group and this is the reason why biologists
are virtually unanimous on the fact that a
pure race ofpeople never occurred anywhere.
Any living animal or plant is usually situ-
ated at the end of a branch that started off


from the phylum (also known as branching)
-that of mammals and birds for instance
-that is divided successively into classes,
orders, genders, species and races. This clas-
sification was mostly based on phenotypical
characteristics, otherwise known as outward
appearance.

So, it would seem that race does not actu-
ally exist in mankind. The human species
is as one. Jacques Ruffi (1921-1924)*, a
haematologist, geneticist and anthropolo-
gist, demonstrated that phenotypes such as
the colour of our skin are too superficial to
reveal a kinship between an individual and a
population and between one population and
another. Only certain serum proteins (blood
serum) allow this. Ruffi's initial research
was conducted on Basque and Pyrenean pop-
ulations. They led to replacing scientifically
the notion of race with that of population.


Amongst other things, they demonstrated
the advantage of crossbreeding, and there-
fore mixed origins. Ruffi and many biolo-
gists later insisted on the fact that the dif-
ferences between so-called racial groups are
cultural, not biological. For Ruffi, what is
valid on this point for races is also applicable
for tribes or for any community throughout
the world. H.C.

* 'De la biologie la culture', Flammarion, coll.
Nouvelle Bibliothque scientifique, Paris 1976 ;
Trait du vivant, Ed Fayard, coll. Le temps des
sciences, Paris 1982 (English version: Pantheon
Books, New York, 1986).



Keywords
Tribe; race; ethnic; language; nation;
nomades; Africa; Jacques Ruffi; Hegel
Goutier.


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> The glory days of tribes


Between the 13th and 16th centuries, great
empires were being created in Africa. The
territories of Ghana, Mali (or Songhai)
had a system of political organisation com-
parable in many ways with that of many
European countries at around the same
time. Today, the Empire of Mali stands as
one of those that have retained the most tan-
gible traces of technical development, such
as the architecture of such cities as Jenne
or Segu. There was also a political balance
between the tribes and the populations,
both black and white (of Arab origin), who
had managed to create more than a history:
a common mythology. All descend from the
same Snake God. There is nothing stronger
than a myth to create a nation!
Mali's white Touaregs (there are also black
Touaregs who were not slaves) call them-
selves 'Kel-Tamashek'* in abbeviated
form, 'Tamashek' -. Or, those who speak
'Tamashek'; nothing more than the lan-
guage they shared with their former Bella
slaves (also known as Kel-Tamashek). All
the peoples of Mali have had representatives
at the head of the Empire, distinguished by
a relative absence of rancour or animosity
between different tribal groups.
At the end ofthe first millennium, the Empire
of Mali was already very rich. Indeed, in
1087 the writer Al-Bakri described count-
less details about its organisation, such as
matrilineal succession, the role of digni-
taries and its capital city: Koumbi Saleh
(re-discovered in 1914 in what is now South


Mauritania). Aboubakar II came to power at
the end of the 13th Century, having sailed to
the West at the head of fleet of 2,000 men
who, it is said, reached the Americas.
Much later, at the end of the war that raged
between this country and Morocco (which
it succeeded in occupying in 1584), the
Touareg were part ofthe spearhead ofits lib-
eration against the Touareg from the North
and re-conquered the city of Timbuktu.


> The imaginary Barbarian
Eventually though, the slave trade and sub-
sequentl colonisation undermined the value
of the culture, the past and the historical
memory of the people. Indeed as slaves they
were described in contemporary accounts
as sub-human or even as non-human. At
the time, of course, slavery was regarded as
a moral or religious imperative. How else
would it have been possible to justify, in
the name of Christianity, that a Son of God
should commit the abject action of enslaving
one being to another?
Thus begun the creation of what Lanneck
Hurbon** called the barbarisationn of the
barbarian'. For example, if the victim sub-
mits to slavery, it justifies that he does not
possess the shamelessness of a human being.


> manipulation
Many anthropologists feel that colonisation
deliberately encouraged tensions and feuds


Dossier


III'


iti


II L


1


iill


& 1 -


lir,11111 roillii










































between tribes that had not existed before,
according to Amselle, of the Bt ethnic
group in Cte d'Ivoire. The increase in ten-
sion between farmers (Hutu) and breeders
(Tutsi) in Rwanda and Burundi were also
possibly increased by colonisation***.

John Lonsdale****, an outstanding profes-
sor of African history at Trinity College,
Cambridge is sure that in Kenya: "Ethnic
economies were as complementary to each
other as competitive, each with a different
specialisation. But such inter-ethnicity -
which was not without its frictions -was
facilitated by the absence of any central
power that might arrange groups in hierar-
chical relations. Therefore, sustained tribal
rivalry could not exist under such decentral-
ised, under-populated conditions. It wasn't
until European rivalry imported the modern
idea of the state in the late 19th Century that
these areas became driven by self-interest".

Later, the English used for Indians, mainly
on the 20 per cent of fertile, cultivable
lands situated in the area mainly inhabited
by Kikuyu tribe (then 20 per cent of the
total population) around the capital city
Nairobi. This marked the beginning of a
history, whose tragic continuation recently
took place.

After independence, politicians also stirred
ethnic tensions. However, this is hardly the
sole privilege of Africa, as the same thing
has taken place elsewhere, particularly in the
former republic of Yugoslavia and in former
Soviet territories, where it caused thousands
of deaths. Ethnic tensions are also seen in


strong democracies like Corsica, Ireland,
Belgium or the Basque region of Spain.

The problem of Kenya lies in the weakness
of its parliamentary structure, whereas in
Ghana or Benin, the opposition parties hold
a more important place in Parliament and
the opposition can watch over government.


> Iecessity of the institutional
representation of minorities

On independence, in most African coun-
tries, the institutional representation of
tribes (ethnic, cultural, religious) was writ-
ten off. European democracy or European-
style democracy -in societies that are the
cultural heirs of the old continent such as
the United States, Canada, Australia or
New-Zealand -created institutions where
every community is equally or equitably
represented. It is usually the Senate, as in
the case of the United States. In some coun-
tries, we find a superposition of geography
and the ethnic group, such as in Belgium. In
the Senate, the Flemish -representing more
than 60 per cent ofthe population have the
same number of Senators as the Walloons.
Moreover, in Parliament, a law deemed as
'fundamental' may not be voted in without
a certain percentage of votes from each
community. There is also the example of
the Swiss cantons or the German Linder.
The basis of this high chamber is to give
a guarantee to the various groups (ethnic,
religious, cultural) whose members have a
sentiment of strong belonging in parallel to
their citizenship.


The 'one man, one voice' without any com-
pensation in a multi-lateral, multi-ethnic,
multi-religious or simply multi-regional
society presents a risk of democratic exclu-
sion for minority groups. And this is true
even without discussing bad governance and
authoritarianism. The member of a commu-
nity will not vote for someone, even reputed
competent or honest, of another community
unless he has the guarantee that his own
interests are institutionally protected.

Recently, university professors as well as a
plethora of distinguished political figure-
heads includingBoutros Boutros-Ghaliand
Barrack Obama -have taken the view that
tribes should be considered by the Africans
as democratic institutions. Countries such
as South Africa or Botswana, where this
integration is being put into practice, are
reaping the fruits of this initiative. H.C.

* See 'Les Kel Tamashek noirs', nologisme
politique ou aberration smantique ?'in 'Allaghen
Ag Alla /Dmocratie, exclusion social et qute
de citoyennet : cas de l'Association Timidria au
Niger' by Mahaman Tidjani Alou, Journal des
Africanistes 70 (1-2) 2000.

** Lanneck Hurbon, Le barbare imaginaire,
Ed Payot, Paris France. Also see Julie Hearn,
Kenya and the myth of'African barbarism' (www.
spiked-online.com).

*** Au coeur de l'ethnie: ethnies, tribalisme et
tat en Afrique (Editions La Dcouverte, Paris
1985; reed. 1999).

**** Co-author of Unhappy Valley: conflict in
Kenya and Africa (James Currey, 1992) and (as
co-editor) of Mau Mau and Nationhood (James
Currey, 2003) Open Democracy http://www.
opendemocracy.net/author/JohnLonsdale.jsp).


COURIER







































integrates tries


Botswana is a model of
parliamentary democracy,
particularly in the way that
its parliamentary institutions
deal with the tribal system.
These are the conclusions
of a recent report by the
French Senate*


The report says Botswana's consti-
tution is very stable -in fact it has
hardly been amended at ail since
its creation in 1966, guarantees
every fundamental liberty and prohibits every
form of discrimination particularly racial.
The Assembly itself elects the President and
the Presidential mandate is limited to two
terms. Although the President may dissolve
the National Assembly, the latter may adopt a
motion of no confidence against the govern-
ment, leading to his or her resignation or the
dissolution of the Assembly. Since the coun-
try's independence in 1965, every election has
been trouble-free.

The fact that there has been no change in
the party in power in Botswana is due to the
fragmentation of the opposition parties and
the tradition of seeking consensus on impor-
tant issues, says the report. Indeed, long
before the British arrived, traditional tribal
assemblies were extremely democratic. "The
Chiefs were not bound to respect the point of
view of the majority, but their decisions were
rarely turned down or unpopular because any
despotic chiefs could be dismissed."

> The Chamber of Chiefs

Eight traditional chiefs ofthe main tribes are
amongst the 15 members of the Chamber.
The deputy chiefs of tribes, other than the
main ones, also elect four members. The
Members of the Chamber of Chiefs must not
have actively participated in politics during


the five years prior to their election, neither
may they be members of a political party.
The Chamber of Chiefs must be consulted
for any revision of the Constitution and in
all the texts concerning family or private law,
land ownership, and some aspects of civil
law. This Chamber may also take up and
investigate any issue that it deems pertinent.
The legitimacy ofthe chiefs is still strong as
each chief regularly consults his tribe in the
course of traditional assemblies. The motto
of the Chamber of Chiefs, inscribed in their
debating chamber is 'Kdodi Ke Kgosi Ka
Bathe' (the chief is chief by the people).

In its conclusions, the report explains that
the Chamber of Chiefs allows for a con-
trolled transition to modernity because it
"preserves the solidarities and traditional
allegiance, while avoiding a tribal frag-
mentation of the nation. It ensures the
expression of the Chiefs... in an authentic
parliamentarian democracy. Furthermore,
it gives due consideration to the interests of
people like shepherds and farmers, which
are nowadays often neglected over those of
the urban classes in many developing coun-
tries." H.C.

* Report of the French Senate France-Africa
Friendship Inter-Parliamentary Group: Botswana,
an example for Africa, 1999.

Keywords
Botswana; Tribe; French Senate; Hegel
Goutier.


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009






























jI~IIY11T


1l FriMi7i [1111 r101i


1I'P''111


II1


'll II


III


Marguerite Barankitse. They call her Maggy, or more affectionately, Oma (the German
for grandmother) and some even pronounce the name of Sister Maggy as they would a
saint. She's personally declared war against fratricidal hatred. Her weapons? Heroism,
courage, intelligence, tenacity, and her legendary organisational abilities. Just don't
tell her how great she is, or she'll unleash her most terrifying weapon a crystal clear
laugh tinged with softness and sympathy. Something specially dedicated to you, who-
ever you are. Why? Because you are what she loves most a human being.


Meet her once and you'll never
forget her. This remarkable
woman began by adopting
children, many of whom had
witnessed their parents being killed. That's
how it was on the 24 October 2003 in her
hometown, Ruyigi, where Tutsis like her
were killing Hutu refugees. Two days before,


the opposite was happening (Hutus killing
Tutsis) in other areas ofthe country and some
members ofher family were amongst the vic-
tims. Maggy used her body to shield "her
children", her pupils. Maggy was repeatedly
hit then bound to a chair. Her clothing was
torn and a child was killed before her eyes,
his head then flung onto her lap.


As soon as she managed to free herself and
escape, the 'Madwoman from Ruyigi' a title
given by her fellow Tutsis, who were in awe
of the energy of this champion of the causes
of others -confronted death countless times
that day. But she succeeded in saving 30 or
so children and adopted them ail. Still today,
she is there when things go wrong -whatever


COURIER


III


>M"iww 1 l 1111 r I i 1







Tribes and Democracy Dossier


side the victims are on, and she still throws
herself between the killers and the children,
adopting hundreds of them.

She has put in place an exceptional system
of organisation to raise each child, care for
them and give them an education. Moreover,
she raises each child according to his or her
religion, Protestant, Moslem, whatever, even
though she herself is a devout Catholic. She
teaches "her children" to be well-organised
so that this huge family can become self-
protecting and self-sufficient. In future,
thousands more children will be taken in,
and an agency to find family links for chil-
dren will be formed. In addition, she has
also set up major sustainable development
projects. Today, there are more than 50,000
children referred to as 'The Children of
Maggy' and the various centres that she



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


Sa has created
in Burundi
which include
the very first,
V the Maison
Shalom (www.
maisonshalom.
net) have
been awarded
alozens of prizes
Irom around the
worldd for their
I.u aanitarian
Sork.

met her for
thli first time in
flu'undi and we
.-i!ed if it was true
it., the Hutu and
luit- tribes were
l c.itons of coloni-
sdatLln? She replied,
laughing: "if tribes did
not exist, how could we know who to kill
when we are going to kill?"

We met again when Maggy Barankitse
was in Brussels for three days on her way
to Stockholm which currently holds the
presidency of the EU to share her advice
and offer advice to with Swedish political
and development representatives. She was
staying with friends who have created a
foundation* that supports her projects.

About being both notorious and respected
through her nickname of Sister Maggy

Yes, I've been a sister to everyone I meet.
Now the 'mummy' is 53 years old. I realise
that, in a country still plagued by fratricidal
hatred, we need a sanctuary, a space where
people can dream. Faced with the misery
that I encounter each day, I just say no. You
see, we are all princes and princesses cre-
ated in the image of God. My dream is to
consider every person I meet like the dearest
person ever.

On her many adoptions

Well, I didn't adopt them all, although it's
true that I did at the beginning. I was a
teacher and I had a challenge facing me,
so I legally adopted seven children: four
Hutus and three Tutsis. I wanted to show
my Burundian brothers and sisters that it
was possible to live all together in harmony.
Sadly, when war broke out in 1993, I had to
take on 25 children when I witnessed the
massacre of their parents. In all, 72 people
were murdered before my eyes. Then, 12


years of civil war gave me another 10,000
children to care for...

Now, we are helping 50,000 children and we
have just bought a large hospital facility with
a 120-bed capacity. We already had a moth-
er and child protection centre, where we
welcome mothers who are either extremely
poor, malnourished, or stricken with AIDS.
As I believe it is crucial to educate children
about what peace means, we have created
a cultural centre with a cinema, library,
swimming pool and a garage facility where
we reintegrate former child soldiers.

On the necessity of insisting, or not, on the chil-
dren's ethnic background

It's ridiculous to put the blame of belonging
to a tribe onto anyone. That's not where
conflicts lie. They lie in the use that politi-
cians make of ethnic belonging. Being part
of a tribe is enriching. I am a Burundian
Tutsi from the Banyarwanda clan** and I
was born in Nyamutobo. Denying where
you come from is also to deny your identity.

Tensions between Hutus and Tutsis before the
independence

In the village, some children didn't know
which tribe they belonged to, but the trou-
ble began around 1972 when they started
killing intellectual Hutus. Ethnicity was
used as the excuse, without the shadow of
a doubt, and Hutus were set against Tutsis.
They made use of the ignorance of people.
But today, things have changed and people
are starting to see clearly and beginning to
understand that we must all work together
in this blessed region of the Great Lakes.
There are so many riches here, and we are
like beggars sitting on gold ingots. The day
we awaken, the day the region wakes up, the
world will be astonished. H.C.

* The "Fondation Jean-Franois Peterbroeck"
(contact: rue d'Angoussart 60, B-1301 Bierges
Belgium) financed 50 per cent of the construction
and fitting out of the hospital recently built by
Maggy's organisation.

** Hutus and Tutsis consider themselves being
from the same clan, the Banyarwanda. A clan is
supposed to be part of a tribe or an ethnic group.
Some specialists refer to the Banyarwanda as an
ethnic group. Thus, researchers consider that
Hutus and Tutsis are not tribes.

Read the well-documented and well-written book
by Christel Martin, La haine n'aura pas le dernier
mot. Maggy, la femme aux 10 000 enfants, Ed Albin
Michel, 222 pages, 2005 Paris.


Keywords
Marguerite Barankitse; Burundi; Hutu;
Tutsi; Twa; Tribe; clan; Banyarwanda;
conflict; Hegel Goutier.


















































Ail over the Pacific,
traditional hierarchy
and structures have been
maintained. In the initial
Pacific cultures, systems
were already in place to
ensure peace, justice and
substance in the
governance of a tribe,
group or community.




> Samoan Integration

Samoa has long been an intriguing democ-
racy case study due to the success of the
integration of cultural democracy and the
imposed system of democracy.
According to Dr. Graham Hassall, Professor
and Director of Governance at the University
of the South Pacific, the Samoan system
like others in the Pacific has been successful
because it ensured the voice of the people.
He believes that there is a strong link-
age between people agreeing to fol-


h I iii. 0 -t[ I nl. l t,i i l... i i ln h il -,''. i. -.., -
erned by Lhe Great LOUIncil oi Uhies BoUse
Levu Vakaturaga in Fijian) has been severely
undermined and ignored. The Council was
established in 1876. All of the chiefs belong
to one of three confederacies: Kubuna,
Burebasaga, and Tovata. For the most part,
the boundaries of the confederacies cor-
respond to the boundaries of the provinces.
During the colonial era, meetings of the
Great Council of Chiefs were held every year
or two. In 1963, this function ofthe Council
was abolished as indigenous Fijians obtained
the right to elect their representatives to
Parliament.
In Fiji, there is another cultural represen-
tation to leadership and that is the House
of Chiefs, a larger body which includes all
hereditary chiefs. Fiji's first Constitution,
adopted upon independence in 1970, gave
the Council the right to appoint eight of the
twenty-two members ofthe Senate.
The Council was suspended in April 2007
by Commodore Frank Bainimarama, insti-
gator of the December 2006 military coup.
On August 5, 2008, it was announced that
the Great Council of Chiefs was ready to
reconvene.


> Solomon Islands Challenge

According to Michael Kwa'ioloa, of
Kwara'ae in Solomon Islands, his country


d . | l. lJ. I P 1 l'' 1 1,, ,I i, r I1
\. l l l 1 l I[u 1-N 1-t lU, IH. 1
il Id 1 l l 1.u d k ', i h 'i i l. P i .I l .1 I .- I.
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!ci r i lh ll !_!,,U[, !,,u U!!J ,, !! J I l i h.! l.h

According Lu Kwa iulua, 111 Lhe paiL ouluioiiii
Islanders lived under a system of equality of
wealth based on exchange. "Furthermore,
Western ideas of economics convinced
Solomon Islanders educated overseas to
behave naively, contradicting the traditional
religious and cultural values of cooperation
which suit the people of the country best."
The ethnic groups of the Solomon Islands
reflect the natural division of the islands. It
was only in the late twentieth century that
ethnic relations became politicised, result-
ing in violence.


> Collective conscience

There is a collective cultural conscience in
the Pacific that identifies each island. In
time, the value of tribal culture and tra-
ditional hierarchy became diluted in the
bid to become successful democratic states,
although not all have been successful cases.
The common trait is that tradition is still the
rule of law.

* Samoan journalist.




Keywords
Fiji; Samoa; Solomon Islands;
Dr. Graham HassalL


COURIER


- 1 1 l, 1 1 ild 11k 1 dU 1 1 1






l interaction








Focus on financial




crisis at DeuDays

The impact of the financial crisis on ACP countries will be at the centre of the fourth
edition of European Development Days 2009, which opens in Stockholm (Sweden) on
22 October for three days


crisis on developing countries are
becoming clearer. In its communi-
cation, "Helping developing coun-
tries to overcome the crisis", published last
April and endorsed by the EU Council of
Ministers and the EU-ACP Joint Council
in May, the European Commission forecast
that foreign investments could fall by 80
per cent and emigrants' remittances by 40
per cent. World commerce is slowing down
and the economic growth of these countries
could fall by 5 per cent or more. This situ-
ation, says the Commission, will plunge a
further 100 million people into poverty
in 2009, and these people will join those
already affected by the explosion of food
and fuel prices. It is also clear that develop-
ing countries will be the worst affected by
the global recession, even though they bear
the least responsibility for it, just like climate
change, the Commission reports. In Africa,
economic growth could reach 3.4 per cent in
2009, against 5.2 per cent in 2008, or even a
loss that would represent almost double the
Official Development Assistance (ODA) to
the continent.

> accelerating and enlarging
flows of aid
"We must take action immediately and
the aid must have a direct effect", under-
lines the Commission. How? Principally by
accelerating the payment of aid, as well as
by regrouping it and redefining priorities.
If need be, the Commission aims to rede-
fine its support programmes to reflect the
new needs and emerging priorities. The
European Investment Bank should concen-
trate on anticyclic actions in priority areas,
encompassing infrastructure, energy, the cli-
mate and the financial sector. The revitalisa-
tion of agriculture in developing countries,
particularly ACP countries, also figures on


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


the list of priorities ofthe Commission. This
includes the implementation of the lbn
'food facility', 314M of which has already
been paid out in favour of the 23 countries
(http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/what/food-
security/food-facility_en.htm) considered as
being most under threat. The Commission
also set itself a new objective: investing
in "farming corridors" that would ensure
relations between markets and production
areas. On the climate issue the Commission
also offers new financing to help refor-
estation and to transfer the technologies of


..... .I.


developing countries. Funds for this would
be taken from the profits of an auction sale
of the emission quotas of EU countries.

On the commercial front, the Commission
proposes to reinforce export credits, cred-
it facilities and guarantees, "determining
modes of commerce stimulation". M.M.B.

Keywords
Financial crisis, developing countries,
European Commission, Flex vulnerability,
Marie-Martine Buckens.


... ..






Interaction ACP EU


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Research on development



EU Report on Deuelopment


to fight the fragmentation of


effort and lack of resources


aid is not well known because of
the fragmentation of effort and
the lack of resources, according
to a European Commission report to be pub-
lished shortly. In its drafting, the European
Commission has assembled a body of
researchers in the area. The soon-to-be-
published European Report on Development
(ERD) will bring together their conclusions.
The so-called 'fragile' countries that suf-
fer from a lack of data are particularly tar-
geted. Better knowledge of these countries'
situations may help build better development
policy making and address conflicts, security
threats, weak governance or unsustainable
exploitation of natural resources, say EC
officials.

A common set of criteria to analyse the


situation of various State members of the
EU is one ofthe main targets ofthe research
conducted. The European Report on
Development was prepared in close coopera-
tion with other donors and developing coun-
tries. The European University Institute
(EUI) coordinated the work.

Special emphasis is put on the EU's response
to fragile situations with a focus on the
definition, reasons for and determinants of a
particular country's fragility, the role played
by the agricultural sector and the general
responses of the international community in
such situations and in particular, the various
approaches adopted by the EU.

The Courier will feature the report's conclu-
sions in-depth upon its publication. H.C.


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COURIER

























il


will see talks step up between the
ACP and EU to pave the way for
the 2nd five-yearly review of the
Cotonou agreement (2000-2020). Joseph
Ma'ahanua, Ambassador of the Solomon
Islands to the EU and former Chairman of
the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, said
one important issue for the ACP group of
nations was to bring climate change into
the Convention."The situation is that over
time we have tried to deal with climate
change issues, but it has always been seen
as part of trade and development. What we
have to do is try to deal with it as an envi-
ronmental issue in its own right," said the
Ambassador in an interview.

Equally important, he said, was to "cater
for developments to come in the Economic
Partnership Agreements (EPAs)" currently
being negotiated between the EU by a
number of ACP states. "The develop-
ment support provided by the European


64


jI


I1


K. I .. i


Dryland nera Manatuto, Timor-Leste. 0 UN Photo/Martine Perret


Community related to EPAs must be
commensurate with the costs that ACP
states will incur in adjustment to EPA
implementation and other related costs,"
ACP Secretary General, Sir John Kaputin,
told an audience at the University of
Wollongong, Australia in July. But for the
EC, the current C22.682bn (2008-2013)
financial package is not up for review
before its expiry in 2013.

CONCORD, the European NGO confed-
eration for relief and development says in a


recent policy paper that the Cotonou review
is an important opportunity to "test some
of the suggestions that have been made for
the involvement ofnon-state actors in both
consultations around decision-making and
implementation of the cooperation agree-
ment," enshrined in Cotonou. D.P.

Keywords
Mid-term Review; Cotonou agree-
ment (2000-2020); Joseph Ma'ahanua;
Economic Partnership Agreements
(EPAs); Sir John Kaputin; CONCORD.


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009










































By 2015, Africa could become the EU's preferred gas supplier. That is the date when the
Nigeria-Niger-Algeria trans-Sahara gas pipeline should be operational. Supplying Nigerian
gas, it will also confirm Algeria's position as a gas hub for Europe.


and the Nigeria National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) submitted
the feasibility study for the project
to the European Commission two years ago.
On 3 July this year the project became offi-
cial with the signing, in the Nigerian capital
Abuja, of an intergovernmental agreement
between Nigeria, Niger and Algeria to build
the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline (TSGP).
The pipeline will be 4,218 kilometres long,
bringing gas produced in the Niger Delta,
a hydrocarbon production zone in southern
Nigeria that often experiences serious vio-


lence, to southern Europe, by way of Niger
and Algeria. Delivery should begin in 2015,
at the rate of 30 billion cubic metres a year.
Calls for tenders for the project, expected
to be worth $US10bn, should be launched
before the end of the year.

A number of oil companies, such as Total
of France, the Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch
Shell, Eni of Italy and Russia's Gazprom,
have already expressed an interest. Gazprom
and the NNPC have already agreed to invest
at least $US2.5bn in exploring and devel-
oping Nigerian oil and gas deposits and in


building the first section of the pipeline.

Gazprom's presence in Africa is not with-
out significance. At present the EU imports
around a third of its gas supplies from Russia,
about 150 billion cubic metres a year. Brussels
has now decided to diversify its gas suppliers,
a fuel which will meet a growing share of
Europe's energy consumption. M.M.B.

Keywords
Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline; TSGP;
Nigeria; Algeria; Niger; Gazprom; Total;
Eni; Shell; EU; Marie-Martine Buckens.


Second South ffrica-EU Summit


mit held in Kleinmond, South
Africa 11 September took stock of
global issues such as climate change
and the financial crisis. It also addressed the
internal situation in various countries of the
continent -Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Sudan
and Somalia. South Africa's President, Jacob
Zuma, chaired for his country and European
Development Commissioner, Karel De Gucht,
for the EU. The state of EU-South Africa


trade and aid relations was also reviewed. An
EC-funded 100M Employment Creation
Fund to increase job opportunities and devel-
op skills in the South African economy was
launched.

The EC's total bi-lateral aid package for
South Africa is 980M covering 2007
to2013. For this year (2009-2010), it includes
a major budget support programme for pri-
mary education (over 122M) as well as a


financial window to enable South African
students and academics to attend European
Universities under the Erasmus Mundus
scheme (5M), and a programme for Youth
Empowerment through Culture and Sport
(10M). A full report on the meeting will
appear in issue no. 14 of The Courier. D.P.
Keywords
South Africa; European Union; Kleinmond;
Jacob Zuma; Karel De Gucht; Employment
Creation Fund; Debra Percival


COURIER









































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Keywords
Africa ICT; economic crisis; SEACOM;
ACE; EASSy; PRSPs; Okechukwu
Romano Umelo.


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Interaction Africa


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W ith criticism against Eritrea
surfacing in various media
across Europe over the last
few months, The Courier
gives the floor to Girma Asmeron, the coun-
try's Ambassador to the European Union,
Belgium and Luxembourg. We seek his
response, but also to find out more about the
general situation in his country. We began
with a question about the lack of image suf-
fered by Eritrea.

Ambassador: Suffering is a very elastic word,
but there is deliberate distortion from dif-
ferent circles, for whatever motive, against
Eritrea. But the reality in Eritrea is extremely
different from what is being propagated and
portrayed in some quarters.

Before discussing some of these allegations, could
you tell us about the current country-wide situa-
tion, -'..:. in these times of global economic
crisis?

Eritrea is blessed with having come late into
this world -we are only 18 years old. We have


tried to avoid every single mistake that has
been made by developing countries, notably
by African countries. Eritrea is very clear
about where it wants to go. First and fore-
most, the foreign aid dependency syndrome
has to be cut. That does not mean we do
not want foreign aid, but ownership must be
ours. Our natural resources also must benefit
the country -it must be a win-win situation
for both investors and for us.

The other dimension we want in Eritrea
is in terms of capacity building. Eritrea is
extremely rich. We have gold; we have 1,200
kilometres of coastline with a sustainable
capacity of fishing 80,000 metric tonnes per
year, out of which only 10,000 metric tonnes
are currently caught. We have marble and
granite. We are only four million people, and
the equitable distribution of wealth is prop-
erly handled. But no matter how much gold
we have, the investor is not going to come
unless our infrastructure such roads, ports,
electricity, telecommunications, etc., is devel-
oped. We are expanding additional ports. We
used to have two airports, now we have four.


We have two major ports; we are connecting
them via major highways. Instead of three
days, it now takes only seven hours to link
them. So we are laying down infrastructure
before inviting investors to come.

How do you reply to the criticism from some inter-
national associations who make thefollowing alle-
gations: young people who don't want to go into
the army (national service) are harshly punished;
illegal Eritrean migrants sent backfrom Egypt are
sometimes imprisoned; the government interferes
in religious i.i,,i They give as examples the
removal of Patriarch Antonios and the situation of
the Pentecostal-like group of the Mulu-Wengel.

These are three very good questions. There
are distortions here. First in terms of the
national service, we copied it from the Swiss,
the Belgians, the Israelis and other countries.
As a small nation, we consciously decided
there is no need for a professional army
which is very expensive. Moreover, national
service increases the opportunity for better
cohesion among the different ethnic groups.
Unfortunately, a war erupted. Ethiopia tried


COURIER







Africa Interaction


Eritrean Ambassador, H.E. Mr Girma Asmeron, presents his credentials to Jos Manuel Barroso,
President of the European Commission, 2007. CEC


to invade Eritrea. The youth was mobilised.
Ethiopia has a population of 80 million, we're
only 4 million. It is a nation-building proc-
ess to protect your own country. Look, the
Americans invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
They said that was for national security rea-
sons. Conscription in Eritrea is for a period
of one year and six months. In the mili-
tary structure, there are military disciplinary
actions. But punishments do not go beyond
normality. Therefore the national service is
the right of obligation for Eritreans.

As for the second point you raised about
the exodus of Eritrean youth; that is again a
distortion of reality. There is now a big busi-
ness in human trafficking. The NGOs are
the ones who write affidavits saying there are
human rights violations, and so a particular
guy has to be given refugee status. This is a
job creation exercise for them. The fact of
the matter is that Eritreans returning to their
country are not detained or sent to jail.

About religious groups, Eritrea is 50%
Christian and 50% Muslim. They lived in



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


harmony for centuries. Given this cohesion
and unity, we have zero tolerance for extrem-
ism. Extremism is not only from Islam fun-
damentalists; it also comes from Christians.
There is not only al-Qaeda. I have the right
to protect my cohesion, my harmony. We
restrict the number of Madrasas opened in
Eritrea; we also have to restrict the activities
of Christian fundamentalists.

As for Patriarch Antonios, the Eritrean
Orthodox church has a Synod which is the
most democratic institution. It replaced its
own Patriarch by another Patriarch. He has
never been detained; he can never be detained.
None of the Patriarchs have been deposed as
a result of government intervention.

Could you summarise the geopolitics of Eritrea?

Eritrea is the most stable country in the
whole of Africa. Look at Ethiopia, where reli-
gious cleansing and ethnic cleansing happen
everyday. The regime in power in Ethiopia is
from a specific ethnic group which makes up
only five per cent of the population. So the


Ethiopian bomb beside the road near Barentu, 162 kms west
of Asmara, the Eritrean capital, 2000. R Reporters/AP


entire region is volatile. In Somalia there is
tension between the Afars and the Issas. You
know about Kenya, what has transpired in
the election. It was a volatile situation that
included ethnic cleansing. Almost 600,000
people were displaced. Almost 1,500 people
were killed. In Sudan there is a South and
North and Darfur issue. Eritrea is for peace
and stability in the region. Eritrea believes in
a strong region. It is a trading block. Unless
you have peace and stability, the trading
block is not going to function.

The international geopolitics is this -this
is diplomacy 101 (a basic principle of diplo-
macy): there are no permanent friends, but
permanent interests. That is the basic theory
ofevery nation. Be it small or big, it has a role
to play for peace and stability in this global
village. We feel we can play a constructive
role, and we have been playing a constructive
role; and that is the way forward. H.C.

Keywords
Girma Asmerom; Hegel Goutier; Eritrea;
Ethiopia; Somalia; Kenya; Patriarch
Antonios; Mulu-Wengel; al-Qaeda;
Christian Fundamentalist; Muslim
Fundamentalist.









1l i.riii iii


nctwui ub
Dambisa Moyo; Dead Aid; Africa; Marie-


1T, wil"In 1











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f rntil I


The landscape of international development cooperation is coloured by many actors and
organizations. Among them are doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers, economists, sociolo-
gist, and journalists, crossing borders and frontiers ail over the world. They established inter-
national Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), based on profession, to work in countries
which are at war or in conflict situations. Their work brings along risks, dangers and although
characterized by impartiality, neutrality and independence, it is sometimes controversial and
criticised as partial and interfering in state affairs. One of the reasons could be the lack of
information and understanding about their objectives and their working-method as well as
the cooperation and communication with national governments and local experts.


W ell known are the Doctors
Without Borders/Mdecins
Sans Frontires (MSF), an
international medical human-
itarian organisation created in 1971 by doc-
tors and journalists in France. MSF provides
aid/medical care in nearly 60 countries to
people in crisis regardless of race, religion, or
political affiliation, on the basis of need and
independent access to victims of conflict as
required under international humanitarian
law. Medical teams conduct evaluations on
the ground to determine the medical needs
and care for people who suffer from vio-


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


lence, neglect, or catastrophe, due to armed
conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion
from health care or natural disasters. MSF
says that the key to acting independently in
response to a crisis is its independent fund-
ing. Eighty-nine percent of MSF's overall
funding comes from private sources, not
governments. Website: www.msf.org

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) are
formed by several non-governmental organi-
sations in several countries, focused on engi-
neering and construction in international
development work and strongly linked to


academia and students. Engineers without
Borders/Ingnieurs sans frontires (ISF)-
France was founded in the 1980s, followed
by ISF-Spain and ISF-Italy in the 1990s and
EWB-Canada, one ofthe largest ofthe EWB
organizations, in the late 1990s and many
other EWB/ISF groups around the world.
Wesbite: http://www.ewb-international.org/

Architects Without Borders is a non-gov-
ernmental not-for-profit volunteer humani-
tarian relief organisation, providing techni-
cal assistance and support for recovery and
reconstruction programs in countries that






Civil Society on the move


suffer from economic crisis, human conflict
and natural disaster, such as the Tsunami in
Asia. Website: http://www.awb.iohome.net/

Avocats Sans Frontires (ASF) was
founded in 1992 in Belgium, sending law-
yers without borders, lawyers for lawyers,
abroad to take part in sensitive trials and
to assist or represent human rights lawyers
and human rights activists persecuted for
exercising their profession. Lawyers with-
out borders defended the accused and rep-
resented the victims in Rwandan courts
and between 1995 and 1998 lawyers were
trained in Arusha, Tanzania, for appearance
before the International Court (ICC) in
Rwanda. Website: http://www.asf.be/index.
php?module=home&lang=en

International Lawyers and Economists
against Poverty (ILEAP)/Juristes et
Economistes Internationaux contre la
Pauvrete (JEICP), is an independent non-
profit organisation, launched in Nairobi
in May 2002 and established as a non-
profit organisation in Canada. The work of
ILEAP is focused on increasing the capacity
and participation of development countries
in international negotiations. African and
Caribbean experts are trained by ILEAP for
the negotiations of the economic partner-
ship agreements (EPA) with the European
Community. Capacity building is provided


by trade professionals from several coun-
tries. Website: http://www.ileap-jeicp.org/

Association Studies Without Borders/
tudes sans frontires is a more recent
non-profit association, founded in Paris in
March 2003 by young French citizens with
the support of international personalities,
such as Vaclav Havel, former president of
Czechoslovakia, who considers education
as a guarantee for peace promotion, solidar-
ity and sustainable development. Through
Studies Without Borders young people, who
are not able to study in their own country
due to crisis, can continue and resume their
studies in Europe and North America, and
go back to their country when the situa-
tion permits. A total of 190 students from
Chechnya, Congo, Rwanda and Western
Sahara benefited from the programs of
Studies Without Borders. Website: http://
www.etudessansfrontieres.org

Reporters without Borders/Reporters
sans frontires (RSF), is a Paris-based
international non-governmental organisa-
tion, founded in 1985, to advocate freedom
of the press, the right to freedom of opinion
and expression and the right to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas regardless
of frontiers, in accordance with Article 19 of
the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the 1950 European Convention


on Human Rights. RWB compiles and pub-
lishes an annual ranking of countries based
upon the organisation's assessment of their
press freedom records. The impartiality of
Reporters Without Borders is not universally
accepted. Criticisms concern RWB's fund-
ing (a significant amount of funding, 19%
of total, comes from certain western govern-
ments and organizations), its anti-Castro
and anti-Chavez reporting, its methodol-
ogy in ranking press freedom and the lack
of direct understanding of existing laws in
ranked countries. Website: www.rsf.org

Sociologists Without Borders was found-
ed in Spain in 2001, as a non-governmental
organisation, and has established chapters in
Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia, USA, Brazil,
and Italy, and others are in formation.
Sociologists Without Borders became vis-
ible as first professional group that made a
critical statement against the United States
government unilateral intervention in Iraq.
In 2004 and 2005, young sociologists joined
the Kibera project, an international effort in
support of the welfare and development of a
poor slum quarter of Nairobi. Sociologists
Without Borders work together with jour-
nalists to collect and analyse relevant infor-
mation for the public. Website: http://www.
sociologistswithoutborders.org/


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was the services that
were our main area
of interest given only
a few Pacific countries have the base to be
able to export trade in goods", says Joseph
Ma'ahanua, the Solomons' Ambassador to
the EU and former chairperson of the ACP
Committee of Ambassadors.

He continues: "One ofthe things we tried to
push forward was the Temporary Movement
ofNatural Persons (TMNP).We met a brick
wall with the EC on this so decided to
approach the whole negotiations in a two-
pronged approach where we continued with
negotiations ofwhat could constitute a com-
prehensive EPA, whilst at the same time, we
approached EU member countries who we
felt would be able to understand and sup-
port us [on TMNP]."



Greater opportunities

to play in Australia

and New Zealand,


Lutz Guellner, spokesperson for EC Trade
Commissioner, Baroness Ashton, points out
that work permits for non-EU nationals in


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


any of the 27 EU states "... are not in the
Commission's competence and have to be
negotiated directly with individual Member
States".

"The question is why did we shift from a
services agreement covering the whole ofthe
Pacific region to a goods one, which we felt
early on would not be utilised by the whole
Pacific membership?" raises the Ambassador.
This was because the opening oftrade in fish-
eries was important to many in the region. It
led to the individual 'goods' EPAs being
signed with Papua New Guinea and initialled
with Fiji* whose signature is pending in the
wake of country's coup of 2006.

At the heart of the debate on services is the
Pacific's interest in an EU benchmark on
TMNP in order to prise similar concessions
out ofboth New Zealand and Australia with
whom the Pacific region is also currently
negotiating market openings in PACER
(Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic
Relations) Plus talks. Lutz Guellner recently
indicated to The Courier "...the EU is ready
to resume talks including on mode 4".


> Rugby

Su'a Peter Schuster, Chief Executive Officer
of the Samoa Rugby Football Union, says


OdillUdii ndiKd, iuyuy VVu[IU UUp LUUI, ri[dil HKeporters/Ar


rugby players are just one group lobbying for
greater opportunities to play in New Zealand
and Australia. "New Zealand and Australia
do not provide the opportunity for our play-
ers to participate in their Super 14 Series.
PACER PLUS should have provisions that
should remove current restrictions on the
Pacific's top international players."

Guellner says the Pacific stands to gain
from an opening of markets in other areas
of services: "Services are now over half the
economy in most Pacific states and under-
pin production and trade. EU suppliers can
bring the know-how and management skills
needed to compete internationally, train
local employees and help companies provide
a wider choice of services locally at lower
prices. Pacific suppliers can gain greater
access to EU markets and common regula-
tory principles will increase legal certainty
for all and encourage inward investment."
D.P.
* An additional seven non-LDC Pacific states; Cook
Islands, Federated States ofMicronesia, Nauru, Niue,
Palua, Marshall Islands and Tonga, and LDCs; East
Timor, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu
and Vanuatu, are involved in EPA talks.

























































e have seen substantial
firming of commodity
prices compared to
the decline that was
experienced for the last quarter oflast year",
says Alex Sienaert, an analyst with London-
based Standard Chartered Bank. For some
countries, this may amount to short-term
correction because countries like China
took advantage of the fall in prices to re-
stock, he says. He is hopeful, however, that
the improvement in prices will carry over
into next year. Oil-producers like Nigeria,
Angola and Gabon have seen energy prices
go up and have been well-placed to weather
the storm. Namibia has also seen a hike
in its uranium exports. Yoofi Grant, an
executive director of financial service pro-
vider, Databank, says the global economy is
surfacing from the feared recession. Japan
is coming out of the economic problems it
experienced last year. "By the third-quarter
of this year, the US should core out of the
crisis which shows that the packaging reme-
dial strategy is working and the markets
should get buoyant again", he says.


Initially, there were fears that a prolonged
global crisis would lead to reduced inflows
to Africa. However, Standard Chartered
Bank research shows that there has been a
phenomenal rise in lending by International
Financial Institutions (IFIs). "Global lend-
ing commitments by the World Bank Group
reached a record $US58.8bn at its financial
year-end in June 2009 and lending commit-
ments to Africa by the World Bank stood at
$US8.1 bn.This is a 44 per cent rise com-
pared with the World Bank International
Development Association and International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development
funding to Africa at the end of the 2008
fiscal year", says a spokesperson for the
Standard Chartered Bank.



> Lending optimism

The Bank is optimistic for the continent
pointing out that that there are indications
that IFI inflows will continue to grow: "The
April G-20 summit in London resolved
to use International Monetary Fund gold


sales to boost lending to poor countries by
$US6bn over the next two to three years."
These measures were all intended to boost
the African economies in order to avoid
a possible melt-down. Professor Giorgia
Giovannetti of Italy's University of Firenze
says that it is important that the G-20*
commitments that have attracted much
attention are fulfilled, although reaction
has been mixed as to whether or not they
will mean anything to Africa. "If these
commitments are met, they would go a long
way to ease whatever pains that economic
slow-down in African economies that were
intended to be resolved", says Professor
Giovannetti.

She notes, however, a lot of confusion about
the nature of assistance: "One way to avoid
this is to enhance human capital through
education." She adds that some of the
inflows should be directed at countering
the effects of volatility of commodity prices.
"African countries themselves must make
plans for areas where they want to receive
assistance", she says. But for some, assist-


COURIER























































ance from the G-20 countries is flawed.
Says Soren Ambrose, Development Finance
Coordinator of ActionAid International:
"Ritual for making pledges that are not
going to happen should end. Money is not
being made available to lower income coun-
tries where assistance is mostly needed but,
for those in the middle-income group."

This, however, seems different from what
Standard Chartered sees for Africa. "The
concessional nature of new lending com-
plicates the funding challenge for the IMF,
in particular (which usually lends on mar-
ket terms). However, Africa also stands to
benefit from the new IMF Special Drawing
Right (SDR) allocation," the Bank adds.
When this move takes place, the Bank notes
that it would boost global foreign exchange
reserves by $US250bn, and sub-Saharan
allocation is worth about $US10.8bn and
would provide a great boost to many coun-
tries.

Ambrose says much of what is taking place
is lending rather than grants, which is a let-



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


down. "What Africa should be doing now
is to ask for its share in the current system
for those facing losses." Standard Chartered
admits that "increased IFI engagements are
neither a free lunch nor a panacea", but adds
that "by boosting foreign exchange inflows
and available resources they are helping to
stabilise balance of payment positions, min-
imise macro-policy dislocation and should
help to preserve development spending in
the face of a cyclical downturn. Others also
believe that investment would be affect-
ed greatly. In this regard, Giovannetta
notes that investment in some sectors have
suffered a bit because of uncertainties:
"Investors in oil, for example, have shown
some delays because of fears of conditions
in countries wherein they operate. These
uncertainties have to be removed." Citing
Ghana as an example, she says, "the coun-
try's political uncertainties are less than that
of Nigeria and this means that attempts to
attract investors into the country's newly
found oil fields may not be a problem".


(Ritual for making

pledges that are

not going to happen

should end.

It does look that much would however
depend on the governments. Standard
Chartered makes it clear that the unfolding
events should come to show "how increased
IFI engagement would affect the policy
stance ofAfrican governments in the future,
and how private capital flows will pick up
as the global economy recovers". For now,
what one expects is everyone keeping their
fingers crossed and having faith that policy
initiatives in the G-20 countries will yield
some results.

* The G-20 brings together twenty industrial and
emerging-market countries: Argentina, Australia,
Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India,
Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi
Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United
Kingdom, United States ofAmerica. The EU, rep-
resented by its rotating Council Presidency and
the European Central Bank, is the 20th member.




Keywords
Commodity prices; G20; Pittsburgh;
Africa; Standard Chartered Bank;
International Financial Institutions (IFI);
Giorgia Giovannetta; IMF; World Bank;
International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (IBRD).


Trade


cocon RISE

The International Commodities Ex-
change Futures in the US has report-
ed a 13-month high increase in the
price of cocoa. In September futures
rose by $US87 to $US2,998. This
means that the Ghanaian economy
is likely to have some reprieve fol-
lowing reduced inflows from donors
in the wake of the global financial cri-
sis. In May 2009, outgoing Governor
of the Central Bank, Paul Acquah,
reported that "the average realised
price of cocoa exports increased
by 17.9 per cent in the first quarter
of 2009 to $2,794 per tonne". Con-
sequently, said Acquah, "exports of
cocoa beans and products amount-
ed to $US553.3M in the first quarter
of 2009, compared with $US403.2M
for the same period in 2008". It is no
wonder therefore that by early Au-
gust, Ghanaian President John Atta
Mills was hinting at increasing the
producer price of cocoa in order to
motivate farmers to produce more.








































I

Makingson Nespulos, painting, "Autoportrait". o Photo Hegel Goutier


The day that French TV star Patrick Poivre d'Arvor announced amongst the main titles of
the TF1 8 o'clock news (France's number one television channel) a report by Marie-Laure
Bonnemain on Makingson Delivrance Nespoulos, a Haitian stone cutter, marked a turning
point in the life of this talented artisan. For Nespoulos is the man who brought new life to
one of the most prestigious monuments of France Notre Dame. That was in April 2008 and,
since then, media from around the world have reported on this and his other artistic talents
as a painter, musician and creator of comic strips.


I n the television report, one anecdote The stone in question was that of the mas- ing and music, and where he enjoys the
largely contributed to shaping the terpieces upon which the artisan puts his spiritual proximity of Van Gogh and ail
image of the character talent, finesse, mark -little horses "galloping behind the the other geniuses that have fallen for the
and humour. With the support of his walls of Paris." charms of this Provenal city before he did.
parents (the Nespoulos are a French-Greek Meanwhile, he has already "carved" his
couple who adopted him when he was three), > Fine surgery 0on two thousand mark on 20 or more gems ofFrench architec-
he looked for his birth mother and explains gearS of history ture. But they, in return, have marked him
with underlying tenderness how she told too. As he explains: "I often think of these
him: "I sent you abroad so that you could Currently, Makingson is restoring the Arles old stonecutters who touched, caressed,
do something other than work as a labourer arena. He is passionate about this city where and cared for these stones." Amongst these
and here you are, slaving away on stones." he finds his inspiration for sculpture, paint- treasures: the Quais de Seine, the Louvre


COURIER







Zoom


Museum, the Louvre Museum's 'Porche
Mamlouk', Versailles and its Petit Trianon,
the Amiens and Limoges Cathedrals -and
the Pont Neuf, his soft spot. "When I was
a little boy and we walked by it, my father
used to tell me that this was Paris' most
beautiful monument."

For the past year, Makingson has travelled
to Arles every week and returned to Paris
for the weekend. This will go on for another
year. Along with some of his colleagues,
he works under the leadership of Alain-
Charles Perrot, Master Architect for the
'Monuments Historiques de France'.

A full day with him in Arles takes you on an
wonderful journey across time, under the
spans, in the 'entradas' and on to the roof
of the arena, that dominates 2,000 years of
history. A history of Roman culture, which
is still inhabited by the ghosts of Caesar's
gladiators. Here, Nespoulos does not carve
the stone like he does in Notre-Dame. This
is the equivalent of plastic surgery. With
tiny gestures not unlike those of a surgeon,
he dresses the "wounds" and blemishes of
the stone, healing its fragile cavities, stitch-
ing the ruptures in, or between, in the old
and new stones that he sometimes has to
use. The repair must not be seen with a
naked eye. Indeed, every small piece of
sanding must be subtly tinted with even
subtler nuances to give the correct shimmer
of the Southern sun on the limestone. "I'm
conscious that I work with history" he says,
"that I knead it, like the dough for bread. I
want this arena to be the most beautiful in
the world, and I particularly want to avoid
any rupture between the old stonemasonry
and these repairs".

All the while, he tells you the history of this
city that has taken over his persona. He
talks of the people who erected, in this very
arena, a city of 2,000 souls at the end of the
Roman Empire, that survived right through
the end of the 19th Century. He speaks of
poetry, of Van Gogh, Barcel, bullfights,
blood, light, Lautramont, and of Fratellini,
whose circus school he attended. And he
also reminisces about Haiti where he has
set-up a workshop for street children.


> Haiti, France, Italy, Germang.
From childhood to the minotaur

He was barely six years old when he made
his first sculpture, and his passion has never
waned. But he became a professional stone-
mason quite unexpectedly.


"From my adoption aged three by my
father and mother, I spent my early years in
Largny-sur-Automne, a small village of 200
people in the Aisne, in Picardie. My child-
hood delights consisted of observing bugs
and other things under a microscope.


packed his bags and started on the adventur-
ous path that he still walks on today. "Did
my parents want me to take over my father's
trade? I think they would have liked me to do
something that was not so hard. But they are
happy as long as I am."


From 16 to 17, I completed my prima- > HiS Own little private museum
ry schooling in Pletenberg, in Germany's embedded for centuries


North Rhine-Westphalia, which means that
I was in the country when the Berlin wall
fell. Hence, I speak German. When I was
19, my parents sent me to spend a year
in Carrara in Italy where I learned about
marble quarries. Whilst in Italy, I fell in
love with Michelangelo's works and those
of other masters of the Italian Renaissance.
I was studying at the National centre of
apprentices for graphic arts with the idea of
becoming a comic strip artist. This is how I
participated in the creation of the packaging
of Paloma Picasso's perfume Minautaure. At
the same time, I created an album cover for
the legendary alternative band Magma.".


> Game of chance and necessity

Aged 19, Nespoulos applied to the very
select school of stonecutters. Not receiving
a reply, he started studying graphic design.
But as the doors of one profession opened
before him, he received a message informing
him -three years later -that his enrolment
request had been accepted. He immediately


Makingson Nespoulos aux Arnes d'Arles, 2009. 0 Hegel Goutier

From a very early age, Nespoulos has been
a painting fanatic. He paints almost every
day after work, often well into the night.
Once, he was robbed of all the works he
had stockpiled in a basement -roughly five
hundred paintings and drawings. It was as if
part of his life had been rubbed out, "had I
really created all these works?" he asks... Yet,
another shock put another two-year break
in his painting. He saved a young girl from
drowning in the river Seine. When he took
up his paintbrushes once again, he started
including bits of his paintings into the stone-
work he was working on. Behind the stones
of Notre Dame, he has housed one of his
sculptures. And Lautamont's "Les chants
de Maldoror" sits next to a good bottle of
wine and a corkscrew. H.C.

Keywords
Makingson Delivrance Nespoulos;
Marie-Laure Bonnemain; Patrick Poivre
d'Arvor; Hegel Goutier; Alain-Charles
Perrot; Moebius; Notre-Dame Cathedral;
Arles; Arles arena; Trianon; Versailles;
Pont-Neuf; Haiti; Stonecutter; Porche
Mamlouk; Hegel Goutier.


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009






gI]urplanet




The sun of the Sahara



to help Europe?


B IB
t-- ,-


SDesertec


Thousands of square kilometres of the Sahara desert covered with solar power stations to pro-
vide one quarter of Europe's electricity needs before 2025? This is the mission of the Desertec
project, announced last July and warmly welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and president of the European Commission, Jos Manuel Barroso. That said, the project is
somewhat controversial.


T he consortium has gathered
a dozen or so industrial firms,
including German energy giants
E.ON and RWE, Deutsche Bank,
German conglomerate Siemens and Swiss
conglomerate ABB, as well as manufactur-
ers of solar power stations such as Spanish
Abengoa Solar and Algerian agro-food group
Cevital. The promoters claim that the
project will give Europe access to an impor-
tant source ofnon-polluting energy, thereby
reducing the greenhouse gas effect and the
subsequent cost to the climate. However,


many questions remain unanswered, such
as where this will be done, the cost of the
power produced, the benefit for African
countries, the lack of political stability in
some producer regions and even its overall
benefit to the climate.

Moreover, there is also the issue of finance.
The estimated cost would be f400bn (equiv-
alent to the vast programme that France will
propose during the Copenhagen Climate
Change Conference next December) and
that should organisee Africa's autonomy in


terms of renewable energy", according to
Jean-Louis Borloo, the French Minister of
the Environment. One ofthe main challeng-
es consists of securing these colossal invest-
ments through potential public financing,
either German or European.

> in "inexhaustible"
supply of energy
In theory, the project is attractive. For
example, if just one per cent of the surface
of the Sahara was covered with solar power


COURIER







Our Planet


stations it would provide the energy needs
of the entire planet. This sort of technology
has been tried and tested in the south of
Spain, using huge mirrors that concentrate
solar energy to a collecting tube containing
a fluid. When it is heated to a high tem-
perature, it allows for the evaporation of
water, activates a turbine and thus generates
electricity. Similar versions of this 'clas-
sic' system can be found in coal, gas and
nuclear power stations, with all the losses
that this entails. According to one energy
expert, Olivier Danielo, who strongly sup-
ports the Desertec project -albeit in its
initial phase: "only 15 percent of the solar
energy absorbed by the mirrors is ultimately
converted into electricity... the rest, or 85
per cent, is lost in the form of infrared rays
and heat, that also warms the atmosphere".


> H rough ride for climate

Apart from the heat produced by the power
stations, experts -such as atmospheric
physicist Yves Fouquart, who co-authored
the 1995 international report on climate
evolution -stress the risk of a decrease
in the reflectivity of desert surfaces: the
'albedo' as it is termed in scientific jargon.
In deserts, this so-called albedo is very high
(contrary to 'darker' areas, such as forests).
This allows most of the sun's rays to be
reflected back into the atmosphere (which
explains the cold nights ofthe desert). Yves
Fouquart notes: "the problem is that this
energy (in the case of solar power stations)
will be absorbed and will not be reflected.
Since the output is not equal to one -far
from it -there will be an additional energy
contribution to the region." He continues:
"Nowadays, the average temperature on our
planet is 15C. However, if the earth was
covered in forests, the temperature would
rise to 24C. On a completely deserted
Earth, the temperature would be 13C, and
if it were completely covered in oceans, it
would be 32C, because oceans are dark
and their albedo is weak, like a black object.
If our planet was covered in ice, it would be
extremely cold at -52C!"

Furthermore, continues Mr Danielo, any
variation to the 'albedo' has a greater impact
in the Sahara, where direct solar irradiation
is particularly high. Any change of 'albedo'
leads to a radiativee forcing' (roughly, an
increase or decrease in warming) that can



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


be calculated in the level of CO2. Following
the latter, a 100 km2 solar power station in
the Sahara would deliver a radiative forcing
equivalent to the emission of around 10 mil-
lion tons of C02 in the atmosphere. That is
the equivalent of 10 per cent of the yearly
emissions of a country such as France.


> Water in danger

Solar power stations raise the important
issue of water consumption. Still, accord-
ing to Olivier Danielo: "supplying 15 per
cent of the European demand in electric-
ity with these Saharan solar power stations
would require, every year, a quantity of
soft water equivalent to 5 to 10 times the
needs of the Paris region". A Cameroonian
engineer specialised in solar energy, Guy
Tchuilieu Tchouanga, who founded the
EcoSun Solutions consultancy firm, explains
in an interview with Afrik.com magazine:
"this initiative will be disastrous for African
countries. All the ground water will be
pumped to activate the turbines, leading to
the drying up of ground water with irrevers-
ible consequences".


> The limits of climate reasoning

Youba Sokona does not see things from this
point of view. The Executive Secretary of
the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)
(see his interview in the 'To The Point'
rubric) thinks that Desertec is a very good
initiative provided that African countries,
notably Algeria, Morocco and Libya, can
fully take advantage of the production of
electricity to meet the countries' needs, as
well as handling the technology. "We must
not just remain providers of raw materials.
In view ofthis, I wonder whether it might be
worth considering a sort of global environ-
mental fund to help poor and low to middle
countries to put them on the path ofsustain-
able development by launching a less carbon
consuming economy for energy purposes".
M.M.B.


Keywords
Desertec; Club de Rome; solar power sta-
tions; Sahara; albedo; climate; Olivier
Danielo; Guy Tchuilieu Tchouanga; Yves
Fouquart; Marie-Martine Buckens.





t


ail


iger. The Courier's 'country report' is on a
nation that has been doubly shaken by politi-
cal and climatic crises. Political crisis: President
Mamadou Tandja, the man who established the
democratisation of his country when lie was re-elected
at the head of the country in 2004, today finds himself
disowned for having broken those same democratic rules.
On 4 August, he gained an extension of his soon-to-be
expiring mandate through a referendum, notwithstan-
ding the veto of the Constitutional Courts.

As the'Courier' went to press, the country was hit by seve-
re flooding that caused many deaths and the destruction
of cereal reserves, putting Niger in danger of another food
crisis. In this country, the slightest alteration to the rhythm
of seasonal droughts and rains only worsens a poverty
that is still generalised. Yet, poverty is not synonymous
with misery. The people of Niger, or ratlier, the different


peoples of Niger Zarma
or Hausa from Black Africa,
Fula or Tuareg from Northern
Africa have adapted to their
mostly-Sahelian environment
for centuries. Whether they '
are nomads who travel across
the country in all seasons, far-
mers, or sometimes both, they rely on their livestock for
income. The reputation of their cattle often goes beyond
the borders of the country, and the same is true for crops,
such as onions or millet. The Couiner lias decided to focus
most of its special report on these peoples who benefit
from the strong support of the European Union, Niger's
key donor. We will of course also look at an expanding
sector, mining, uranium bringing in most of the country's
export revenue.


COURIER







Niger Report


.iii., from the mists of Northern
I u i..!e, the plane leaves Algerian
i! lce and crosses the Tropic of
Sil.1 corn that marks the begin-
ning of the territory of Niger. It flies over the
Djabo plateau, a sea ofsand punctuated here
and there by an oasis. The desertification of
the Sahara began in 800 B.C., driving away
the crop farmers and making room for herds-
men, probably Peuls. We then pass over the
mining town of Arlit that emerged from the
sands just 40 years ago, providing the French
company Areva with the uranium to sup-
ply nuclear plants in France and elsewhere.
This is followed by the vast Air and Tnr
natural reserves. Going past Agadez, the
Tuareg 'capital' on its left, the plane flies over
the Sahelian plateaus surrounding Tahoua
before finally turning west, towards Niamey.
Nestling in a bend on the meandering Niger
River, the capital had once been the heart of
the Songhai Empire.

On its journey, the plane has passed on its
left the regions of Zinder and Diffa neigh-
bouring the long border with Nigeria. The
Haoussas form the majority here, but there
are also other peoples, such as the Kanouri
on the banks of Lake Chad and from whom
President Tandja originates. The Sultanate
of Zinder is the former capital of the military
territory administered after 1900 by France.
Two years later the country became a French
colony. The capital was later transferred to
Niamey to redress the balance between the
local economic and political power wielded
by the emirs of the east and reduce the influ-
ence of Zinder's Haoussa community as
well as the influence of northern Nigeria, a
wealthy and densely populated region.

1960 marked Niger's accession to independ-
ence. The first president was Hamani Diori,
leader of the single party. He was over-
thrown by a military coup in 1974 after which
an authoritarian military government was
installed, headed by Seyni Kountch. His
programme was aimed at economic recovery
following the great droughts of 1973, and



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


continued cooperation with France, espe-
cially for uranium mining. His rule was
marked by successive coup attempts. When
he died in 1987, Colonel Ali Seybou came to
power and became president in 1989 after the
adoption of a new constitution that returned
civilians to power, although Niger remained
a one-party state. It was not until 1990 that
opposition parties were legalised after a long
series of strikes. A year later Niger became
a multi-party state. In 1996, another putsch
installed Colonel Ibrahim Bar Manassara
in power. A new presidential-style constitu-
tion was adopted. These years were marked


by the revolt of the Touaregs in the north,
demanding a fairer share in the nation's
wealth. Following an economic crisis trig-
gered by falling uranium prices, the country
was gripped by a wave of strikes by students
and civil servants, culminating in mutiny
by the army. In 1999 the president was
assassinated. The Fifth Republic was born,
Mamadou Tandja being elected the same
year for a five-year term. In December 2004
it came as no surprise when he was returned
to office with 65.5 per cent of the vote. An
"old-style" military man, President Tandja
embodied the politician who had succeeded
in imposing democracy until he decided, in
August 2009, to hold a referendum for a third
term that was contrary to the constitution.
His presidency has had its shortcomings, in
particular the regular jailing of journalists,
including the recent jailing of the editor of
the satirical paper Le Canard Dchan.
M.M.B.

Keywords
Niger; history; France; Hamani Diori;
Ali Seybou; Ibrahim Bar Manassara;
Mamadou Tandja; Le Canard Dchan;
Touaregs; Marie-Martine Buckens.


Shepherds in the Badaguichiri Market (Tahoua), 2009. MarieMartine Buckens







report rJiger


Interview with the Head of the European Commission's delegation, Hans-Peter Schadek







.,.1 were your first impressions J
..en you took up your post in ,'
l.,uary 2008?

Before coming to Niger, I was posted in
Dakar. So already having an understanding
of the situation in West Africa, I was not
faced with any major surprises. But there
are of course differences. Niger is incredibly
vast. It has an area of more than 1,265,000
square kilometres, which is almost 29 per
cent of Europe with 27 Member States. This
means that getting to the regional centres
can easily take a day to a day and a half by
car. There are no commercial flights serving
the country, though a new company is cur-
rently in the process of being set up. This
means that everyone is completely reliant on
road transport for the time being.
Since arriving, I have carried out a number
of missions in the various regions of Niger.
These visits have enabled me to get to know
the country better and to meet the people,
who have left a great impression on me with
their welcome and the dignity and courage
they show in sometimes difficult conditions. Ecr


What are the main lines of cooperation between
the European Union and Niger?

Our cooperation with Niger is time-based.
The succession of five-year programmes
takes account of the country's priorities,
where the agricultural sector and infrastruc-
ture are of key importance. Under the 10th
European Development Fund (EDF), rural
development and infrastructure, transport
in particular, are therefore high up on the
agenda. Another key area is good govern-
ance in the broader sense, as it also includes
decentralisation.


The aim is to deploy an increased proportion
of our support through budgetary support.
Although they are not targeted directly,
we pay special attention to the social sec-
tors; education and healthcare in particular,
because the release of so-called 'variable
trenches' is linked to the achievement of
very specific objectives in these sectors.
Amongst other things, the development of
indicators, such as the rate of schooling for
girls, the rate of vaccination and the per-
centage of assisted childbirths is tracked.
Within the framework of the 10th EDF,
budgetary support can reach up to 62 per
cent of the total fund, divided into global


and sectoral budgetary support. Under the
10th EDF, some f180M is earmarked for
global budgetary support. There is a gradual
transition from classic projects to sectoral
budgetary support depending on the rel-
evance of sectoral policies carried out and
the capacity to implement the funds by the
ministries concerned. With regard to the
rural development sector, we are working on
options to move towards either a joint fund
or sectoral budgetary support, but we are
not there yet. In the field of decentralisation,
we aim to use an agency recently created
by the authorities which is responsible for
channelling funds for local authorities.


COURIER







Niger Report


Decentralisation is a priority for the govern-
ment. How do things stand?

The government has made decentralisa-
tion a key focus. From now on, there will
be 265 municipalities which have varying
levels of equipment, human resources and
financial capacity. There is still much work
to do before ail the local authorities become
fully operational, for example, before they
are able to efficiently carry out their role
as an administration, collect all of their
taxes and defend their interest vis--vis the
central administration. There is also still a
major difference between the cities and the
rural municipalities. The latter are often
without lighting and electricity to connect
computers, for example. On the one hand,
our efforts aim to support the strengthening
of the municipalities' capacities, and on the
other, to contribute to the mobilisation of
the funds required to successfully carry out
priority local investment projects. One such
project based on funds from the 9th EDF
was launched two years ago in the Agadez
region. Based on experience gained, we plan
to expand the area benefiting from our sup-
port with funds from the 10th EDF.

Anotherpriority area where the EUis also inter-
vening is food security, isn't it?

Food security and the mines, in the frame-
work of the Sysmin funds (see separate
article), are part of sectors where we are
intervening. Food security is an area where
the European Commission's instruments
link together well: ECHO -the European
Commission's humanitarian aid office
allocates funds for humanitarian actions;
Niger is an important part in the ECHO
programme for the Sahel region -and our



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


commitments under the National Indicative
Programme (NIP). The Commission's 'food
security' budget line has also contributed to
the funding of our support in this area. In
total, the Commission has mobilised more
than f79M in the field of nutrition and food
security over the past ten years.

How has Niger coped with the food price crisis?

Niger was well prepared for this eventual-
ity and has managed the situation in a far-
sighted and appropriate way. The country
has a national system for preventing food
crises, which we support along with other
aid providers. The country therefore had
sufficient stocks of food available to deal
with the increase in prices and the scarcity
of certain food products. In addition, some
vulnerable areas have benefited from 'cash
for work' initiatives, which enabled the most
vulnerable households to obtain precious
income at a critical time. The government
has also undertaken additional measures,
reducing tax, for example, on the price of
imported rice which has had a significant
effect on price, in particular in urban areas.
Ail of these measures combined have ena-
bled Niger to manage the situation well,
even though prices still remain relatively
high today.

What are the main challenges that the country
must overcome?

I would say there is one above all, that of
demographic growth, because it is a key fac-
tor in the future development of the country.
It stands at 3.3 per cent per annum. This
means that Niger's population, currently
already more than 14 million, is increasing by
almost 500,000 each year. There is therefore


a risk that the country will reach the limits
of its capacity to provide food from its own
agricultural resources within the foreseeable
future. This is why it is important to develop
other sectors, such as the mining sector
and subterranean resources, which have sig-
nificant development potential. Significant
investment is also planned, and Niger is
committed to the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI), which is
clearly a very welcome development.

Demographic growth also has a significant
impact on the healthcare and education sec-
tors. Demography plays a key role in ensur-
ing high-quality healthcare and education
for ail, and adequate policies are required in
this respect.

In addition to this challenge, climate change
is also a key issue. Niger is very exposed to
rainfall risks with very fragile eco-systems.
Unfortunately, the various climate change
forecasts are not yet very accurate for the
country's various geographical areas, and
are sometimes even contradictory. But a
change will definitely take place. It is there-
fore vital to provide for adaptation to antici-
pated changes now in sectoral agricultural,
farming and water management policies. We
are of course ready to support such studies
and analyses with the means at our disposal.
M.M.B.






Keywords
Niger; Hans-Peter Schadek; rural develop-
ment; decentralisation; infrastructure;
lOth EDF; demography; climate; Marie-
Martine Buckens.






report Niger


in important, underexploited


I potential



Niger has some undeniable assets, both in the livestock industry and in some cash crops.
However, the country must reinforce its capacities, explains Youssouf Mohamed Elmoctar,
Secretary General of RECA, the Network of Chambers of Agriculture in Niger.


iger boasts a significant livestock
that is highly valued by its neigh-
bours. Until now, this livestock
is sold on the hoof. "However",
explains Youssouf Elmoctar, "we could be
the leader for the West African market on a
potential livestock-meat market. The milk
network also has a great potential, but the
collection system has not yet been organ-
ised". RECA represents these stockbreeders
-but also farmers and wood producers to
the government. It is also in charge of sup-
plying technical information to the sectoral
organizations, particularly on the develop-
ment of networks.



Another export product, in fact the country's
second source of export after receipt sura-
nium, is the onion. There is also a plethora
of other cash crops, such as Arabic gum,
sesame, groundnut or earth almond -a rhi-
zome particularly appreciated in Spain.

"The potential to export more in Africa
and why not to Europe -is there. But the
great problem", continues the Secretary
General of RECA, "is the lack of means
to achieve quality standards. We must at
all costs reinforce the capacities of the
producers to allow them to be competi-
tive, and to adapt to Economic Partnership
Agreements".



One of the great challenges is to create
added value to basic products, continues
Youssouf Elmoctar. "When you sell live-
stock on the hoof, you sell everything: the
horn, the skin, the hair, the hooves, the guts,
and even the genes. In actual fact, you are
selling the species." Thus, the network has
decided to generalise abattoirs throughout
the country, using for instance European
funds (read separate article), and following
practices that are in accordance with inter-


De.


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national standards. But this is not enough:
"it is also imperative to ensure the refrig-
erated circuit of transportation. We must
improve the genetic capacity of the livestock
to increase the milk production. Here, a cow
produces two to three litres of milk per day,
whereas European productivity can reach
20 or even 30 litres."

"With the country's current significant
demographic growth, agricultural areas
are declining, and the biggest problem is
food safety." Of course, continues Youssouf
Elmoctar, "we are an land-locked country.
But under the soil lies an ocean. For exam-


ple, in the regions of the Air Mountains and
Maradi, underground water lies at 6 metres
below the ground. According to estimates,
the quantity of water is such that it would
allow 700,000 hectares ofland to be irrigat-
ed." To face these challenges, RECA must
still consolidate. "We are a young institution
dating back to 2006, and we need support,
particularly from Europe. We must broaden
our structures. For example, there is no
agricultural trade union. We are bound to
create one", concludes Youssouf Elmoctar.
M.M.B.


COURIER







, ii report


The exceptional gustatory

qualities of the Galmi

onion make it a highly

prized product throughout

the whole of West Africa.

The extent of the onion's

success is such that a

Senegalese company has

applied for a certification

request with the AIPO,

triggering a general

outcry a Niger producers.










In fact, explains Patrick Delmas, who is
technical assistant at the National Net-
work of Agricultural Chambers of Niger,
the Galmi Violet should never have been
called 'Galmi', but should have been
named Ader name of the region where it
is produced or Maggia (name of the val-
ley from where the main ecotypes used
to create the first selection of onion to
which the name of 'Galmi Violet' was giv-
en originated Indeed the onion came
to Africa on Egyptian trans-Saharan cara-
vans, and is implanted in the Niger area
of Tahoua since the 17th century The
valleys of this area are surrounded by pla-
teaux, especially the zone of Maggia and
are nch in underground waters, enabling
irrigation during the dry season when the
onion is cultivated


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Safeguarding the economy of Niger's legendary pasture farming is the ambition of the
European Union's PASEP (Support to the pastoral economy) Programme.


hey are Peuls!" exclaims
the driver of our expedition,
as he points to a group of
men accompanying a drove
of cows and goats that cross the road
towards the North. "But also Touaregs
and Wodaabe", he continues. "They have
been as far as Nigeria, Chad, sometimes
even to the Central African Republic."
He adds: "They use Niger's 'international
passages' that are paved thanks to the EC
programmes. Around June, at the start of
the rain season, they go back up to grazing
areas, up to Algeria or Mali."

According to the Niger rural code, these
famous grazing areas guarantee pastures
to breeders in transhumance so that their
flock may graze completely freely. "The
pasture act" explains Frdrick Lonard
-a Tahoua-based expert at PASEP, which
is financed by the EC "forbids cultivation
beyond the 50th parallel, or at around 40
kilometres north of Tahoua, and prohibits
land ownership, unless it is collective".
Tahoua, Niger's first 'northern city' is situ-
ated at some 450 kilometres from Adagez,
the city of Touaregs and Peuls at the con-
fines of the Sahara and the Sahel. Agadez
- 'passing through' in tamasheq, Touaregs'


language is the last city before the immen-
sity ofthe Sahara desert, with the exception
of the mining city of Arlit at 260 kilometres
length to the west.

However, the famous pasture act failed to
be adopted by the National Assembly, in
contrast to the rural code. This could very
well be because of the influence of the great
merchants who enjoy strong representation
amongst town councillors, some of whom
own ranches in the north of the coun-
try where they cultivate millet or cotton.
Whatever the reason may be, in the event
that the increasingly numerous farmers or
the breeders wanted to cultivate the soil,
they would have to ask for an authorisa-
tion. "The traditional chief could very well
refuse" says Mr Lonard, "but often he
doesn't, because most of the time they are
poor nomads who have lost their herds".


>B

Such is the reality: because of the droughts,
"the social and economic environment is
less and less favourable to shepherds. Thus,
we see the emergence of a new profile, the
agro-shepherds." In fact, it would seem that
transhumant breeders represent 50 to 60 per


cent of breeders in Niger. Around 25 per
cent are sedentary breeders who, with the
help of shepherds, put their flocks to graze in
a 15 kilometres radius during eight months
and feed them with fodder in the village the
rest of the time. "Only 20 per cent are truly
nomad breeders. For the most part, they are
Wodaabe or Borodo from Niger, a fringe of
Peuls who, without law or roof, travel around
huge circles of 700 kilometres and do not go
too deep in the South, in contrast to those
who go on long transhumance. Often, these
people are marginalised."




The European Commission's PASEP pro-
gramme has been put in place to secure
breeding activities, one of the pillars of
Niger's economy. An ambitious programme
centred on five points. The first foresees a
reinforcement of the breeders' capacities
through training. "Breeders have a face, they
are represented by an organisation, a man-
agement committee that will one day allow
them to be project supervisors", explains
Frdrick Lonard. The second point is cru-
cially important as it aims at finalising the
pastoral code by facilitating the implementa-
tion of the Rural Code Secretariat "it did


COURIER







Niger Report


not exist before the EU programme" and to
provide support to land ownership commit-
tees "The European Union has financed the
entire land ownership mechanism in Niger."
This implies, amongst other things, the
marking of 600 kilometres of transhumance
tracks, thus avoiding the usual conflicts
between breeders and farmers, the construc-
tion of approximately forty deep pastoral
wells and forages and borehole-feed wells.

Another vital point is the commercialisa-
tion of breeding products. Cattle markets


With a predominantly farming
population that lives on
millet and sorghum that are
extensively cultivated on poorly
irrigated and weak soils, Niger
is periodically confronted with
food crises that are further
fuelled by market tensions.
The ASAPI (Support to food
safety through small-scale
irrigation) programme deals
with these seemingly impossi-
ble challenges.

iger has reacted relatively well to
the 2007-2008 food crisis that
was given extensive media cov-
erage. But it is true that this was
not the first crisis facing the country. 2005 is
still fresh in peoples' memories, even though
this emergency is nothing in comparison to
the famines that the country experienced in
1984 or 1973, which were lived as "national
disasters", explains Jean-Pierre Olivier de
Sardan, in charge of the LASDEL, Niger's
observatory for social dynamics.

In 2005, notes Olivier de Sardan, the grav-
ity of the situation was greatly attributed to
the explosion of market prices, which -he
explains -was essentially due to the "back-
ward functioning of the cereals market, par-
ticularly with Nigeria buying from Niger, in



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


are being built, amongst which the great
Badaguichiri market near Tahoua and the
Tamask market at the northeast of the
country. The programme also foresees, as
in Madaoua for instance, the training and
regrouping of organizations of butchers,
tanners, and artisans. Training is also being
offered to develop the milk sector. The
fourth priority consists in guaranteeing the
good health of the livestock through the
implementation of private proximity vet-
erinary services, the construction of 38
vaccination parks and the development of an


contrast to previous years, Ghana not sup-
plying corn as it did in 2001, a year during
which the food-producing deficit was similar
to 2004, etc. Speculation also played its role,
at least partly, and it was then amplified by the
media coverage ofthe crisis and the arrival of
the many NGOs in a quest for food to buy."




The reality: an agriculture-pastoral econ-
omy -the economy of breeders remains
preponderant -that owes its food livelihood
essentially to millet, a cereal whose produc-
tion often lacks in "bridging" periods, forc-
ing populations to buy from the outside, for
men to immigrate temporarily, thus leaving
women behind in the villages; inegalitarian
village societies; a considerable birth rate


epidemiological surveillance map. Finally,
the programme ensures the follow-up of the
livestock by conducting a census of the pro-
ductivity by species. The beneficiary is the
Ministry of Breeding, which will then have
a tool for monitoring the number of animals
on the markets and to be exported. M.M.B.


Keywords
PASEP; transhumance; livestock; pasture
act; land tenure system; markets; wells;
Marie-Martine Buckens.


leading to the parcelling out oflands and the
rarefaction of resources. However, for the
past fifteen years, a spectacular regeneration
of the vegetation in certain areas has been
noted, which is due to new agro-forestry
practices (on this subject, read the 'Our
Planet' section of issue 12 ofthe Courier).

Globally, the situation remains worrying and
food safety remains the number one prior-
ity on the list of the government's Strategy
of Rural Development (SRD) and the
European Commission. Thus, Madaoua, an
area located some 600 kilometres to the east
of the capital, is amongst the regions that
benefited from the support of the European
Commission's ASAPI programme.







report Niger


The objective of ASAPI is to contribute to
the reduction of poverty by helping the most
vulnerable populations secure their agricul-
tural production by developing land that is
potentially rich in water. Two fossil river val-
leys were chosen to organise the experiment,
the Tarka and the Maggia, same as in the
Zinder region. Magochi Sani, in charge of
the programme in Madaoua, explains: "the
main operation consists in controlling the
water." During the rain season, fossil riv-
ers become veritable torrents and represent
a danger, since they drag away important
quantities of arable lands in their course.
Anti-erosion practices are multiple, ranging
from the massive planting of trees on the
sides of valleys by following the curves of
levels of the terrain, thus allowing for the
creation of natural terraces little by little, to
the creation of reservoirs in valleys. "These
operations allow to curb erosion and deserti-
fication, but also to heighten the level of the
expanse of water"; flowing expanses of water
is what is needed, "not the underground
water, which is something that we will not
touch" On top of these operations, there is
also the digging of village wells "that allow
women to avoid the chore of having to fetch
water, which implies walking for miles on end
every day", of garden wells in flood storage
areas of track and access roads. "In the past,
these lands were abandoned, whereas today,
we note a massive return of farmers to the
area", adds Magochi Sani.

The whole mechanism must still be perpetu-
ated. "ASAPI has taken measures to structure
these lands, and also to secure the agricultural
products downstream". Structuring the land
implies securing land ownership. Around sixty
communal and seventeen land ownership com-
missions have been created. The programme
also financed the opening of 50 centres for
literacy and technical training for the produc-
tion and transformation ofthe products. More
than 80 cereal banks have been put in place
as well as numerous microfinance projects.
Financing? "Apart from the great works such
as roads and dams, everything was done with
micro-credit. We were pioneers".

Amongst forthcoming challenges, Magochi
Sani feels that "the priority for the manage-
ment of water is that we must have a compu-
terised management system like they do in
Burkina Faso, which will allow monitoring
the water levels in valleys. We need a water
code, a water tax." M.M.B

Keywords
ASAPI; Malgochi Sani; Madaoua; Tarka;
Maggia; irrigation; EC; Marie-Martine
Buckens.


COURIER







Niger R


Uranium is likely to remain the mainstay of Niger's econo-
my, even if the government aided by the EC's Sysmin funds
- has decided to diversify the exploitation of its mineral
resources by turning in particular to oil and gold, the latter
somewhat neglected over the past 20 years. This increased
diversification will also be reflected in foreign company
activity in Niger. The French multinational, Areva, is in
future set to share the mining landscape ivith Chinese and
Indian companies, among others.


Niger isone ofthe least advanced counties
and suffers from geographical handicaps
the vast landlocked terntory (1,267000
square kilometres, or 2 3 times the size
of Francei mostly deserted has a high
demographic increase (3 4 percent for a
population of nearly 15 million inhabitants
and scarce infrastructures Its agricultural
production capacity is insufficient. even
though the rural sector contributes to 40
percent of the GDP ($5 2 billion in 20081
and to 31 percent of export revenue right
behind uranium Despite this, the country
boasts a GDP growth rate of 5 9 percent
i2008), which is partly due to the revival
of the mining sector mainly uranium, gold,
coal, etc)




he Programme to Strengthen
and Diversify the Mining Sector
(PRDSM) was launched by the
European Commission in 2004 for
a seven-year period and with a budget of
f35M. The idea is to support a sector that,
after 2000, was plunged into major crisis due
to many industrialized countries winding
down their electro-nuclear activities. This
was disastrous for a country such as Niger
whose uranium represented about 50 per



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


cent of its exports. The re-launch of nuclear
programmes in countries such as China
has now boosted uranium prices and lent a
new dynamism to mining and prospecting.
One example of this is Areva's acquisition
of the vast Imouararen deposits that has
made Niger the world number two uranium
producer.
The PRDSM has set two priorities. First of
ail, to reduce the sector's external charges by
reforming the health system ofthe twin min-
ing towns ofAkokan and Arlit, located north-
west of Agadez. Until recently, it was the
mining company that bore the health costs of
all the inhabitants, including the non-mining
population. A new public hospital has now
been built and the programme also foresees
the collection of wastewater and treatment
to ensure compliance with World Health
Organisation (WHO) standards. Technical
assistance has also been made available to
artisan miners. The second priority is to
strengthen the role of the Ministry for Mines
and Energy. As Philippe Le Bars, French
expert assigned to the ministry, explains,
the issue here is to bring the mining code of
Niger in line with the supranational code of
ECOWAS (Economic and Monetary Union
of West African States). "But above all,"
he continues, "we are developing a geo-
logical information system in which all the
data are geo-referenced. In actual fact, this
integrating system is quite exceptional, not
to say unique". The first to benefit is the
government (through the construction of


infrastructures in particular) and the mining
companies. "The system is somewhat com-
plex, however, and hampered by a shortage
ofqualified staff. They need training in eve-
rything, and doing that takes us well beyond
our mission." M.M.B.


Support to rural growth and social
integration (including infrastruc-
tures and food safety)
Governance and support to institu-
tional and economic reforms
General budgetary support for
the implementation of the poverty
reduction strategy
Support for the development of
various commercial exchanges
Technical facility
Support for the National Authons-
ing Officer
Total


E160M


E95M


180M


E13M
E4M


E6M
(458M


A second budget amounting to
f15.2M and known as budget 'B'
allows to cover such unforeseeable
needs as emergency aid


Keywords
Uranium; mining code; PRDSM; Sysmin;
Areva; Niger; Marie-Martine Buckens.









has always


been able to step back when


faced with


Inhabitants of Niger
have gone through many
political crises and have
always managed to avoid
resorting to violence.
Sociologist Abdoulaye
Mohamadou explains
that this distance from
politics should allow the
country to adjust to the
new order... as long as the
finances follow.


he Abdoulaye Mohamadou is a
researcher at the LASDEL, the
Niamey-based laboratory for
the study and research on social
dynamics and local development. We had
already met with him a few weeks ago,
just before the referendum organised by
President Tandja was held. The 'ayes' mas-
sively won, allowing the President to prolong
his mandate, which was about to expire.
During these hectic weeks, the opposition
calmly demonstrated through the streets of
the capital city and although some towns
such as Dosso experienced more vicious-
ness, things never got out of hand.

"In our countries" he explains, "the popula-
tion's practices of mobilisation are ancient".
He continues: "The referendum does not rep-
resent a strong challenge for the population.
The referendum is a practice that we inherited
from colonization. Before any referendum,
there is already an agreement at the heart of
the political community. Historically, politi-
cians agree between themselves first and then
ask the people to say 'aye'."


"The great novelty" continues the LASDEL
expert, "is that today, the elite does not
get along. For the very first time, there is
no political consensus. Mathematically, the
'no' should take over, but we are perfectly
aware that the people close to the State will
participate to the vote and will manipulate
it". This was not to mention that the opposi-
tion had massively called upon its adherent
or sympathisers to boycott the vote, which
explains the massive 'yes' (92.5 per cent
with a participation of 68.26 per cent).

"In the event that the referendum is positive,
and even if no violence ensues, the climate
will not be appeased", added Abdoulaye
Mohamadou. And at the time the Courier
is sent to press, the climate is by no means
appeased. "The problem" added the
LASDEL expert "is if the trade unions go
on strike, blocking the economy. Since the
country depends on its customs revenue,
there is a risk that the State could be desta-
bilised".


4wr(L k4. c
DEPSiHArU1y CEL .'%.6if. *1


"In Niger, there is a whole mechanism to
neutralise violence that is distanced from
the politicians and politics in general" add-
ing: "since the 1990s, we have handled many
crises. This is partly due to the fact that, in
many cases, the members of the same fam-
ily are affiliated to four or five different
political parties, which neutralises conflicts.
This phenomenon applies to every ethnic
group and social class". "In Niger" pursues
Abdoulaye Mohamadou, "the population
avoids conflicts. Ethically, there are bound-
aries that should not be crossed for fear of
breaking the balance. To some extent, the
same is true in Benin, where political vio-
lence is not very developed, and in Mali too,
although less so in Burkina Faso". "This
detachment" he adds, "can be applied to all
facets oflife". M.M.B.


COURIER


report rNig.r


















































After having been considered as solely being in charge of their households for a very long
time, women in Niger are trying to get rid of this stereotype. Today, women's associations are
flourishing and there is a ministry in charge of the advancement of women at state level.


n Niger, schooling for girls was deemed
unnecessary for a very long time. Indeed,
girls were only destined to leave behind
their original families when they married.
Both in cities and in rural areas, parents
invest more in the schooling of boys than
of girls. Today, a mere 38.52 per cent of
girls are schooled, and the rate of illiter-
ate women is 88 per cent. This illiteracy is
the direct reason why women are relegated
to the background. The political sphere is
widely dominated by men. Women's rights
have not yet effectively been recognized in
spite of the combat that women continue
to fight alongside men for the construction
and consolidation of multipartite regimes.
Despite the fact that they represent 50.3 per
cent of the population of Niger, women are
underrepresented in the decision-making
bodies. From 1960 -the date of independ-
ence of Niger -to 1974 -end of the first
Republic -there was not a single woman in
the government, and the right to deputation
was not taken into consideration.


Faced with this blatant inequality, the gov-
ernment adopted in 1996 a National Policy
for the Advancement of Women, which led
to the adoption of a law of the quota setting
a minimum participation of each gender for
the management of public affairs in June
2000. Thus, in the proclamation of defini-
tive results of a legislative or local election,
the proportion of elected candidates of one
or the other gender must not be lower than
10 per cent, and must not be less than 25 per
cent for the nomination of the members of
government.


a


The law on the quota greatly encouraged
the emergence of women in politics. During
the 2004 general election, 14 women were
elected at the National Assembly, which is
made up of 113 deputies, or a proportion of
12 per cent. Out of the 3,747 available work
positions throughout the 255 municipalities
of Niger, 671 women have become advisers.


At the government, the number of women
increased from four ministers in 2004 to 8
out of 32, or a rate of 25 per cent. However,
this progress is all just for show.

According to Mrs. Ben Wahab, deputy and
former special adviser to the President of
the National Assembly, "in the structure of
political parties, women only hold positions
related to social issues or in sub-positions of
2nd or 3rd secretary, which are exclusively
reserved for them".
The work of housewives, also referred to as
homemakers, is not accounted for. They are
considered as inactive and unproductive,
despite the fact that, every day, they spend
12 hours looking after their families. From
a legal perspective, women are subject to
three sources of law: modern, Islamic and
customary. This situation endures despite
the fact that the State of Niger has adopted
a series of national and international texts
favouring women. S.S.M.
Keywords
Women; Niger; quota; Mrs. Ben Wahab.


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009






report Niger


'joe kinship

Niger is a true crossroads for exchange between North Africa
and Sub-Saharan Africa, as reflect the many ethnic groups of
the country.


'.. ethnic groups make up three
qu arters of the population of Niger,
iid are mainly concentrated in the
*...th of the country: the Hausa
and the Djerma-Songhai people. The
former are renowned merchants and make
up the lion's share of the population with
43 per cent. They have settled in the centre
and the east with a cultural area that widely
overflows into Nigeria, which explains the
large porosity of the frontier that separates
the two countries. The latter make up
almost 18 per cent of the population, and
are the descendants of the Songhai Empire,
which was established in the 7th century in
the basin of the Niger River and destroyed
by the Moroccans ten centuries later. The
Tuaregs and the Toubou (around 8.5 per
cent) occupy the north and northeastern
territories of Niger, while the Kanuri and
Bouduma (5 per cent) are at the Far East,








a factor


of regional


integration

crin tholu h [lih r,%cr th't ,,.' the
Lounirv ils nain oril'n, runs [lirugh
5si kiluinm trs nf it uiltlinugh it is
1111, kilo'mctrcs lnng, making iat he
rrd luret:st river in Africa.i ifttr [th Nile
alnd ht: (:rip'i., I[ rcpre-cnts a sl. nill icnl [
ct.n.,iniLi. 'isCI for t[hi c.'unirr Ont .i ar
ago'. rli first rinnie nf thi KindII di dan1
wa IiidJ This dJun should all\n Nigcr tni
depcrnd Ie--s on Nigeria. a t,'unir;, tha[ cur-
rcntly supplies it vith '0 per L.iit i ieS ckl -


near Lake Chad. Finally, the Fula, who are
mostly renowned as cattle breeders, spread
out over the entire country's territory after
having controlled the nation between the
17th and 19th centuries.

There are many causes behind the ten-
sions between all these people: the French
political elite privileges the Zarma who are
stockbreeders -particularly the Bororo Fula
-rejected by the sedentary whilst northern
Tuaregs feel neglected by a central power


[rIcir, nc.id- Ji should also. help rn ini.rese
. ltth the support or th [lie rL r ta[tinn
surita.,s. Th'Ie lda liad first tn hbc ranted ,an
utihuri.atinnt i riin [the \uluruc Ju }iasrin
du Niger, i hoid,, rc riupnl'ng Guinea, Muli,.
Niger, BIlnirn and Nigeria i.niaiii nurseS and
Burkirna Fiast. ct:aimlert'n. C(ote d'h,'re
inid C( had affluent, .%vith [thi aism nfinanring-
inI thlie n.rcasmnl v-p.llutid and siltt: up
ri'cr busin i a su-airia hic mainnr The
a.inc Lhallcngcs and corpuLraitiln unit thil


that monopolises the dividends of the ura-
nium in their region. The insurgencies of
the latter were smothered by fire and metal
in 1990, but stay well and truly alive in the
memory and the tension between the central
power and the Mouvement des Nigriens
pour la Justice (MNJ), the foremost rebel
Tuareg movement, remains rife to this day.

Yet, these populations have learned to cohab-
it by adopting conflict-avoiding mecha-
nisms. One of these practices is the 'Parent
Plaisanterie' (joke kinship), a custom that
authorises or sometimes even forces the
members of the same family or of different
ethnic groups to tease and even insult each
other, without any consequence whatso-
ever. French ethnologist Marcel Griaule has
qualified this custom as 'cathartic alliance'.
M.M.B.

Keywords
Ethnic groups; Fula; Zarma; Tuaregs;
Kanuri; Bouduma; joke kinship; Marie-
Martine Buckens.


,.nuntries aona h[lie hanks .r Lake Clhad. In
2' iii, ht C oniniissioii du l.ai. TclhadJ 'I.uke
( .had ( nmmissinn ,i ~ hih rtgrLups Nim~r,
(.amcrnern, Nimcnra, Chud ,anii Ccntral
\lriTia. pl.dtmud w. rustoire ti the dlricl-up
busin is tllind i.infimurnat, in M.M.B.

Keywords
\lilll I l l ni Ilic hl.1II1 -iI Ilie \.li k'iel t.
I..ike (. IIadi( (.iiniiiiii- ii.i. \.ii ie- 1l.ii Iiiie
liuit l'el-v


COURIER






discovering Europe











































Vilnius, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, is the capital of Lithuania, one of three
Baltic States. In geographical terms, is with Bucharest (Romania) and Nicosia (Cyprus), one
of the EU's most easterly capitals, yet according to studies done by French cartographers, it
sits at the centre of Europe. A look at Lithuania's complex history of wars, division and uni-
fication is key to understanding how the city has emerged as a crossroads for East and West
European cultures with a strong pride in the nation, which only regained independence two
decades ago, displayed by a city of some 544,000 citizens.


iLhuania was first mentioned in writ-
i,.' texts one thousand years ago
ii, 1009. In 1253, Duke Mindaugas
i crowned King of Lithuania, the
country's only King. It was during his reign
that Vilnius was mentioned for the first time
as the capital and the Catholic Cathederal
of the city was built although the majority
of the population remained pagan at this
time. In 1325, Gediminas formed a union
with Poland by marrying his daughter to
the Polish King's son and under the Kreva
Union the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth
came into being in 1387. Joint Polish and
Lithuanian armies, led respectively by Jogaila
and Lithuania's Grand Duke Vytautas,
defeated the invasion of Teutonic knights at
the battle of Grunwald.



N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


During the 14th and 15th centuries,
Lithuania grew into one of the largest
states in Europe and developed as a centre
for East-Central European trade. Cultural
advances made included the founding of
Vilnius University in 1579. But the end of
the 16th century saw the political and cul-
tural marginalisation of Lithuania and the
Union of Lublin marked the single state of
Poland and Lithuania, with Vilnius losing
out as Warsaw became the centre of the
huge state.

It was at the start of the 18th century that
both Swedish and Russian forces tried to
seize the country and in 1795, Lithuania
was annexed to Russia. Many residents of
Vilnius were either killed or deported into


the eastern regions of the Russian empire.
From 1830-1831 an uprising against the
Russian administration led to repression
and a period of Russification of Lithuania.
The Russian administration closed the
University of Vilnius and turned Catholic
churches into Orthodox ones. In 1864, a
second uprising led to the banning of the
Lithuanian language and the Lithuanian
press although the publishing of books
in Lithuanian and opening of Lithuanian
schools continued in secret and a revival of
Lithuanian culture and tradition occurred
with the publishing of the Lithuanian lan-
guage newspaper, 'Auszra', or 'Dawn'. The
St. Petersburg-Vilnius-Warsaw railway was
built during this period and Vilnius became
the centre of a national revival.







discovering Europe


Cathederal of St.Stanislav and St.Vladislav and Bell Tower, Cathederal Square, Vilnius, 2009.
D Debra Percival


Barricades outside the seimas (parliament); a reminder of the failed attempt
by the Red Army to storm the building in 1991. 0 Debra Percival


A call for independence came following
World War I (1914-1918) in the 16 February
1918 Declaration of Vilnius, but as the
Germans began their retreat, the Lithuanian
state came under attack from Polish General,
Jzef Pilsudski, who seized control of Vilnius
and the south of the country which was held
from 1920 to 1939. Poland maintained part
of its former Polish-Lithuanian common-
wealth and the capital of Lithuania moved
to Kaunas. The signing of the Molotov-
Ribbentrop Pact, 1939-40, between Hitler
and Stalin who carved Europe up to be
controlled by Nazi Germany and the Soviet
Union in Vilnius, ended the country's inde-
pendence.

Between 1941-1944, Nazis and some
Lithuanian partisans ordered the mass mur-
der of 200,000 Jews, known as 'Litvaks'.
The return of the Red Army and incorpo-
ration of Lithuania into the USSR in 1944
by the Red Army led to the deportation of
250,000 Lithuanians to Siberia which had
already begun in 1941.

The underground resistance was active up to
1953 including the 'forest brothers'; (misko
broliai). In an act of protest against Soviet
occupation in May 1971, 19 year-old student
Romas Kalanta, set fire to himself in public
in Kaunas.




In a move for reform, the 'sajudis' was found-
ed by 500 representatives ofthe intelligentsia


in 1988 and the Lithuanian flag was raised
in Gediminas castle. Calls for independence
from the Soviet Union gathered pace and
in 1991, two million people from ail Baltic
States Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia -
formed a 650 km long human chain from
the capital of Vilnius to the Estonian capital
Tallinn to protest the 50th anniversary ofthe
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

The 'sajudis' won a majority in the first
free election in Lithuania in 1990. The
Seimas subsequently declared the restoration
of Lithuanian independence and requested
the withdrawal of Soviet forces during the
'singing revolution'.

In 1991, Soviet forces tried, but failed, to
storm the Parliamentary building and in a
thwarted attempt to take over the television
tower, 14 civilians were killed. By August
1991, the putsch was over. In August 1992,
Sweden became the first country to open an
embassy in Vilnius and in September 1992,
Lithuania and the two other Baltic States
were admitted to the United Nations.

The country's accession talks to the EU
began in 1999, although one sticking point
was the decommissioning of the Ignalina
nuclear power plant by 2010, which is still an
issue since it will make the country almost
entirely dependent on gas from Russia for
its energy supply. The country became a
fully-fledged member of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 2004 and
also joined the EU on May 1, 2004.

In 2007, Lithuania became a member of
the Schengen group of countries allowing


borderless travel to and from other Schengen
members. And former EU Commissioner,
Dakia Grybauskaite, won the presidential
election in 2009, becoming the country's
first female head of state on her inaugura-
tion on July 12, 2009. But she took over the
country in the height of an economic crisis,
highlighted by the demise of national airline,
flyLAL, which suspended all services at the
beginning of the year.







PubliIhed in C.i llbOration .,,.ith VilniuI
European capital l of Culture thi, bC.-.k by
acadeuni c Laii-ona, Briedis captures the
citi s soul and traces a r iap .:.f the Euro-
pean continent walked throuLh the streets
of lniiius This nati e of ilnius h h has
gone on to do research ork in Canadian
uni ersities uses letters diaries and re-
flectionsofthe di..erse cultures which ha e
ail leh their mark on the c:ity To this day
'iinius stands s continental uitsid-er
an unfaniiliar character 3 trespasser -
',.ithin a *..ell crafted storyb..ard of Eur.ope
SavS the author

Baltos Lanfos Publishers 200'

.. .. baltoslanko.s It






Keywords
Lithuania; Vilnius; Dakia Grybauskaite;
Laimonas Briedis; 'Saiudis'; Baltics;
Seimas.


COURIER







. discovering Europe


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-, I J- -p. in.. .ill ir liilL iii .Il .- ,*uihi ipu .-
,\ t.. i it l **I lit I u -',l c iu ll _ii I I u .1


li i I ,1 .' L ti' i .il, ,I i T ii .' ,l'i -u r ilt

piI u't ut. tuit. .''it.. i iiil l .u ti i i i.. i .iii


ii _ii 'J n iu, -I I i 1ii liki 1 i niiiu>ii-ii
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,iI r' ', -Liuiu. Ilitt r' .IIP .ll i h L

1LL'rl l ll I,,l' _Iu l ih .-li, li in-' \L III'l u il...
l'- lruil. r it l c L .ut lll -, ,I -- -
un Iu i. l Il K il'h iLil. illi P. .' ,l i1, l ii,
11>,1 lriu ili, `-ilL--, D.P.


Keywords
\ liliui \.a t .iLi. Iiiiiil'.in (..i |il.il
i t_ Illll ii t. I l iuet'lll'llll-l III ll1llt
I ii'c ilIlln


il,', ,,: ,: ,,,- , ,' ,-,- ,', ,r ,






discovering Europe Vilnius


Pasts and present


Green spaces including Trakai Park 28 km west of Vilnius flowing rivers, fashionable and live-
ly, Vilnius is a very livable city. Its eclectic architecture, from Baroque to heavy Soviet monuments
draws more and more visitors. Throughout history, Lithuania's changing populations have each
left their respective marks on the city which now consists of 84.3 per cent Lithuanians, 6.2 per
cent Poles, 5 per cent Russians, 1.1 per cent Belarusians and 0.6 per cent Ukranians.


he French National Geographical
Institute has located the continen-
tal centre of Europe at 54 degrees
and 50 minutes latitude, 25 degrees
and 18 minutes longitude, or just six kilo-
metres north of the Old Town of Vilnius. As
Laimonas Briedis says in his book, Vilnius
City of Strangers*, "Vilnius in the twentieth
century is just like the geographical centre of
Europe: always shifting, recalculating, remap-
ping, and yet able to reach a fixed meaning or
a stable location".

The narrow streets of the Old Town contain
businesses of former trades which still thrive
today: wood carving (the country is covered


roughly by a 30 per cent forestarea), linen
garment making; glass blowing and objects
and jewellery crafted from Baltic amber which
comes from the fossilised tree resin secreted
some 40 million years ago and deposited off
the shores ofthe Baltic Sea.

Cathedral Square is at the city's centre. The
Cathedral was first built in 1251, on the
site of a former pagan temple and became
a Basilica in 1922. The three white strik-
ing crosses which sit on the hillside above
the square were erected in the 17th century
to mark the spot where seven Franciscian
monks were crucified. The originals were
removed and buried by Soviet occupation


lit M.


but in 1989 rebuilt and have become a sym-
bol ofboth Lithuanian mourning and hope.
Another landmark is the Gedinimas Castle
which dates from the 13th century and was
rebuilt by Grand Duke Vytautas.

The 326-metre tall Television Tower which
was surrounded by Soviet tanks in 1991 is
never far from sight. Another landmark is
the Holocaust museum. Outside, there is a
monument to Japan's Vice Consul who in
issuing 2,139 visas spared the lives of many
Lithuanian Jews.

The Green Bridge or 'Zaliasis Tiltas' over
the River Neris which cuts through Vilnius
is named after a Red Army General and is
one of the remaining Soviet monuments.
Constructed in 1952, the scupltures at each of
its four corners represent the cornerstones of
the former Soviet state: agriculture, industry
and construction, peace and youth. Cross over
to the other side where the glass-fronted busi-
ness district and shopping area are symbols
of recent economic growth, perturbed by the
current global crisis. D.P.
* Vilnius City of Strangers, by Laimona Briedas,
Baltos Lankos Publishers, 2009.





Tak one nof se...en bridges laden .'.ith
padlocks engra ed th the nanlesof cou-
ples seeking tc1 Ilc.'-in their lo e o er
the Rver Vilnia and stumble upon the
Reprublc of U. upis This area hiCh Iter-
ally meansplace beyPnd the ri..er .'.as
neglected during Soviet occupCation Art-
ists moved in and in 197 it declared its
independence j.'ith a president, flag and
constitution wJ.ritten on plaques attached
to a street wall It includes Feople have
the right to be insignificant and unklnot..n
Independence Day on Ap-ril Fools Day


Keywords
Vilnius; French National Geographical
Institute; Laimonas Briedis; River Neris;
Debra PercivaL


COURIER






i discovering Europe


Lithuania's





development


Evaldas Ignataviius,
Lithuania's Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs in charge
of development cooperation
policy, says his small country
has a limited bilateral
development budget and
a global reach is difficult.
Rather, it is targeting such
aid to areas where it can be
most effective in line with
political objectives, such as
its immediate neighbours
and Afghanistan.


n an interview with 'The Courier' in
Vilnius, the Deputy Minister spoke of
"adjusting our development policies to
our foreign policy goals and our priorities
on enlargement ofthe European Union." "We
have integration experience and try to use
these instruments and mechanisms for other
countries which have future membership of
the European Union as a goal," he said.

The country's Development Cooperation and
Democracy Promotion programme, where
bilateral aid is concentrated, is hence focused
on countries which are part of the EC's
'European Neughbourhood Policy': Belarus,
Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and
Azerbaijan and also Afghanisatan -where 50
per cent of funds go.

The Deputy Minister explained that it's also a
question of not spreading funds too thinly and
being effective. The country's 2009 bilateral
aid budget is some 2.5M. "Last year it was
a bit more but we have had cuts -next year I
do not know yet," he said (see: www.orange-
projects.lt).

Overall, he said that Lithuania's official
Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)
would be around 0.1 per cent of Gross
National Income (GNI) this year: "It is not
a huge amount, but it is still not bad". This
sum includes international commitments. For
example, from next year, Lithuania will be
required to contribute for the first time to the


European Development Fund (2008-2013)
for ACP nations, with a 27.2M commit-
ment.

We asked the Minister why part ofthe budget
is not being used to alleviate poverty in Africa:
"In the past, we had some projects and we
hope to come back to these. Now, we want
to achieve the best possible results with the
relatively few resources we have and this is not
possible in African or Caribbean countries:
there are big transport costs and we do not
have well-prepared experts to work in Africa.
For Central Europe and Eastern Asia, we
have people who can speak Russian and can
communicate and we have the skills that these
countries need for transformation," he said.
Projects being funded in these regions include
classic social and small clean water projects
and building small power stations.



"We are funding more of these classic
development projects in Afghanistan: this is
the centre of our development cooperation
- combatting poverty and illiteracy, helping
transform agriculture, or building small
schools and hydro-power plants. We also
have a small project in Palestine," added
the Deputy Minister. Why the political
focus on Afghanistan? "We are responsible
for a provincial reconstruction team there
and see the added value of civil and military
cooperation. We can control our projects


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009







discovering Europe Vilnius


- this is difficult to do in very distant coun-
tries on the African continent," he said.


Whereas fellow Baltic state, Estonia, chan-
nels ail its funding for development through
international organizations and agencies, the
Deputy Minister said: "Our policy is one of
visibility and using continuation of our devel-







Juiius lc.r.ils iS the representati e in
Lithuania Of the de.elopinent rGiIi Hu-
mana and is critical -of half of the de el-
cpnment funds going to "fgh3anistan and
a31s tO Lithuani3 s neighbouLiring c:.iintries
....here the standard Cf li.ing is higher than
in iimanj de eloping nations H-edqLiur-
tered in iniibab.,.e and particularly kn ,. n
in .candana ia he sais Humonand sells
b.c-Cnd-hand clothess t. raise nimoney for
de.elopment pr.:.jert-ts ,..ith ediiucati n n u-
ral areas a priority [ Jor iIq ....ho 15,S .,,,rks
for the Institute of Social Ethics a pri ate
organisation set up bq se..eral Lithianians
is a15o acti e in educating Lithuanians an
international de..elopmient ha ing in cited
African indi iduals to gi e talks in Lithu-
anian schools
He disputes those ho say that Lithu-


opment policy as foreign policy." Lithuania
currently has only one embassy in Africa
in Cairo. Technical experts in the Foreign
Affairs department are currently in training
for Lithuania's EU Presidency in 2013. The
country currently holds the presidency of the
140-nation Community of Democracies, set
up in 2000 by then Polish Minister of Foreign








anians ha e neither any kno ledge of
ncor interest in de eloping countries It is
an open secret he sais that Lithuanians
interested in foreign :Lurrenc/ and uirther-
ing careers re pre-selected by the for-
nier 'o'.. iet aulthorties during the Cold I Jar
period to ork in arious African nations
thus kno..ing hat global .l,.orker solidar-
it. is about And Lithuanians sho a big
interest in volunteer ork in .frica iiany
joining schemes run b.y lor ay and S e-
den Humana isu bcth a member of Trialog
an uiibrella of De elcpniient tIGOs in the
enlarged EU and participates in the Euro-.-
pean JrGC Cconfederation For Relief and
De..elopnments iCOiUJCi'RDi Aid i Jatch
groLup
A sur e- carried out nid-2008 by the GiC'
Information and Support Centre and the


Affairs, Bronislaw Geremek and former US
Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, to
promote global democratic rules and norms.
"Many African countries are active in this,"
he said. D.P.

Keywords
Evaldas Ignatavikius; Lithuania; Julius
Norvila; Afghanisatan; CONCORD,
Trialog; Debra PercivaL






Lithuanian market research centre vilmeo-
rus sho.:.ed that 6 5 paper cent of Lithu-
anian citizens appro e support and kno 1-
edge sharing .,.ith de eloping cc.intries
although this as do. n froii 2005 hen
72 per cent ga e a posit, e response Out
of this figure says r cr ila 'i0 per cent said
support should go to Africa and 30 per cent
to Afghanistan althcuugh the same sur ey
fc.ind that young people in particular sa,
Luthuania as a small country that cCould not
gi e eternal support and kne, ery little
about here Lithuania aid ent
The [IGi Information and Support Centre
is current/ implementing a project i/Je are
ready funded by the E'C tc. enhance de el-
opment poll: edu-cation in the country


Christian Demoract MP Egidjus vareiis
nicrknaimed Seal is one of a handful of
lmemlbers in the Lithuanian Farliamnent in-
terested in African issues He belongs to.
the groLup of European Farlianentarians for
Arfrica i.AVWEPAi For Lithuanians Africa is
still terra incognito he says A i.ely inter-
est in diplonmat relations is the background
to his thinking ,.n globalisation ;.lth the


publication of a book 'lobaluss Fiutbiolas
or Global Football He 5i Cu.'rrently ICCking
at .. whether democacy has uni ersality Is
the saine lberal deiocr.racy ,'e ha e in the
EU good for "frica' he askrs ir are there
alternati.es He ,' uld like Lithuianiu to
fund rmore de.elopnent projects in sub-
Saharan fruc.a perhaps of a triangular
nature ... ith other EU states


iSeeking a rFember of the European Par-
ianment to take up 3 human rights issue'
Look no further than Leonidas Donskis
This former Professor and Dean of poiiti-
cal science ta the Uni ersity of vitautas
1Magnuis Kaunas as elected to ser.e a
first fi e-year time in the EP in Jtune 200U
He is set to become a .igorous member
of both the De elopment 'Committee and


sub-Commuittee on Hiiuman Rights me is
als,: cOOrdinator of his political group -
the "lIlince of Liberals and Dem.ocrats
for Europe on human rights issues He
;.ants to in ite fearless media people
from Russiu to the sub-Comnittee s hear-
ings He is partic.ularl. disturbed by io-
lence against ,..o en and children n in b.th
Lithuaniu and globally


COURIER



























II


rIm


Rolandas Kvietauskas, director of 'Vilnius-European Capital of Culture 2009'*, spoke to us
about how the programme, supported by the European Commission and branded as Culture
Live by organizers, journeys through the many diverse and rich influences of Lithuania, a
crossroads for East and West European cultures. In the post since February 2009, he says
Culture Live stretches from crafts to classical music concerts. Traditional venues and new


public spaces are showcasing
EU countries.

he inspirations for the brand
Culture Live are the method of 'live
transmission' of the audiovisual
sector and 'Fluxus', an avant-garde
movement of the early 1970's which was cre-
ated in the United States by a Lithuanian
artist, George Maciunas, and based on art
as being what is happening right now, says
Kvietauskas in his office in one ofthe munic-
ipal buildings in Vilnius.

In planningthe year-long events, Lithuanians
sent in spontaneous ideas for projects which
best reflected the city's ideology. Some of
those short-listed were developed. The onus
has been on a diverse programme, says its
director, whereas the city's regular cultural
happenings came up with "something spe-


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


established and new artistic talent from Lithuania and other


cial" for 2009. Other initiatives were devel-
oped by the Culture Live team to bring in
particular artists.

Some ofthe highlights ofthe jam-packed pro-
gramme include a special music and laser show
by German artist, Gert Hofand an interpreta-
tion of Tchaikovsky's ballet, the 'Nutcracker'
in Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports,
which was previously closed down. And an
open air ice rink was opened in City Hall
Square at the start of 2009 with performances
by Lithuanian ice dancing stars, Margarita
Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas.

Kvietauskas says there is a strong theatre
programme and the Vilnius opera festival
which took place in June 2009 is now to


become a fixed event on the Lithuanian
cultural calendar.

New spaces for contemporary art have been
opened such as a changing exhibition in the
railway and bus stations and from September
2009, grounds next to the airport will be the
venue for an open-air exhibition of sculp-
tures featuring artists from Poland, Russia,
Belarus and France.

As one of the most Eastern capital cities
(Romanian and Cyprus capitals more east-
ern) in the European Union, the inclusion
of cultural influences from neighbours has
been a theme, including an exhibition of
the work of notable Georgian artist, Niko
Pirosmani.


ri







discovering Europe Vilnius


Culture Live has not left out ofthe programme
the period of Lithuania's Soviet occupa-
tion. From 2 October until 7 December
2009, an exhibition will take place in the
new National Art Gallery in collaboration
with the Victoria and Albert Exhibition in
London entitled 'Modern Art and design
from the Cold War period (1945-1970).' It
includes the earth's first artificial satellite
'Sputnik'.

And a project to recreate the "atmosphere
in deep Soviet times" is to receive a fur-
ther grant in 2010 from the European
Commission to commemorate the Second
World War, including the deportation of
Lithuanians to Siberia.


Despite a lack of direct flights to Vilnius
from other EU cities, tourism information
centres in Vilnius have reported a 27 per
cent increase in visitors to their premises
for the first half of 2009, says Kvietauskas,
but Culture Live's contribution goes beyond
tourist statistics, says its director.

"We have created new relations between art-
ists, companies and institutions and provid-
ed a number of famous artists the possibili-
ties to present themselves in a new space,"
he says, referring to 'ART-O-THLON',
a reality show where 4 groups of mainly
Lithuanian young artists, created differ-
ent art pieces over 7 weeks with their work
shown live on national TV and judged by a
panel of experts as well as a public phone-in.
The prize, which went to 'Die kitch en', is
the opportunity to create a permanent sculp-
ture for 'Europos Parkas' Europe Park : an
open air park outside the city).

In another Culture Live project, young direc-
tors from Estonia, Belgium and Poland have
been making film documentaries on their
individual interpretations of Vilnius.


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'Krantines arka' or 'Embankment arch', a
huge rusted arch on the river Neris construct-
ed of old gas pipes, by Vlada Urbanavicius,
has proved to be one of the most controver-
sial pieces of sculpture funded by Culture
Live. His aim is to get passers-by to take
note ofthe surrounding hilly environment of


Keywords
European capital for Culture; Culture
Live; Rolandas Kvietauskas; Anja
Westerfrolke; George Maciunas; Debra
Percival


Austrian art is Anja VIesterfrcolke a
dra n (t the neglected church behind high
,alls and hea y locked gates hi.h in the
1.Sth Century ;,3s part u:,f 3 iin,,-nn tery and
then fr.:i 1'-3 .-2007 a imern s, pris .n She
per-u.uded vilniujs nmunicipaliti to open up
The 53:-red Hearrt .-f Jeus i'd'istanines
Churchi tc create her inst3i1ation f.-:r Cul-
ture Le MIiks us rsulSk3 .hS hShu ',,ed
us around e.plimsn that the light sheets
of fabric drsped fro.-im u ails and .,.induo. 5


,.n .. 'hi.ch Sre sketched the original plans
.f the C..hurch hIke an 3r.chitect s dra.. ings
bnrin attention to. the building s, pre iOuI
ii es There are pieces of art created by
prisoners fronm i s nOre recent histur / The
isitor reflects on the ilan Il3ers ; of his-
tory in ilnilus The ,hur.ch no beC'. 3 ne .
iife Sun.i- h.e Sugge-sted 3 future nmeet-
ing pl3ce fur onn-in ;,.hile .-Ithers .i,.-.uld
iike t.. see it restored to its fornlier agior. as
3 Church The inmst1ltiO.-n runs until 6 De-
ciember 200'


COURIER





























-, i H
in


One of the most appreciated presentations at this year's
Salone del Mobile at the Moroso showroom in Milan,
set up by the Afro-American New York-based designer
Stephen Burks and Patrizia Moroso, the company's
energetic art director.


irkliI


I [kl l


M'Afrique, and involved African
plastic artists and photographers,
as well as Senegalese craftsmen
and internationally renowned designers.
Design objects were produced, which were
designed by Tord Boontje, Bibi Seck, Ayse
Birsel, Patricia Urquiola and Stephen Burks
and made in Senegal by local craftspeo-
ple. M'Afrique also presented new prod-
ucts inspired by Africa, such as Philippe
Bestenheider's 'Binta' armchair and 'Bogolan
... ,, '. Several of Moroso's classical, iconic
and famous name designs (Do-lo-rez sofas,
Antibodi chaises longues, Bohemian arm-
chairs, Bouquet chairs) were upholstered in
African fabrics. These fabrics are not simply
textiles to buy and sell or to use for clothes,
but represent a means of communication
for women, because their richness gives an
indication of the family's social status.
The Dakar Biennial, a reference point where
artists and art critics from all over the world
meet to keep up-to-date with African artis-
tic research, was one of the starting points


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


for this project. It was here that Patrizia
Moroso made contact with some of the art-
ists who she asked to be part of the show,
such as Senegalese Soly Ciss, the 'Nubian'
artist Fathi Hassan who lives in Italy, and
the self-taught photographer Mandmory.
She went on to involve David Adjaye, one
of the best-known architects on the inter-
national scene. In M'Afrique he presented
his research project 'African Cities', which
consisted of a photographic documentary
of five African cities (Dakar, Addis Ababa,
Harare, Pretoria and Bamako). Stephen
Burks put everything together to create a
beautiful show.
"Multifaceted, modern Africa deserves to be
known and sustained for the originality of
the creative languages with which it enriches
global culture", says Patrizia Moroso. "The
African continent is extraordinarily rich in
creativity, materials and ideas that are sourc-
es of inspiration and nourishment for us.
When applied to design, they engender prod-
ucts which exude tradition and modernity,
innovation and history, form and beauty."


1'


q.


Pl///






Creativity


One of the most valuable concrete repre-
sentations of this idea is the symbolism
expressed in various forms, through the
written word by Fathi Hassand and through
the visually stunning fabrics designed and
produced by Senegalese textile creator Aissa -
Dione. Aissa, who runs a gallery in Dakar,
is a symbol of the successful creativity and
managerial skills of African women. She
focuses on the need to increase the value
of textiles produced using precious African
techniques to protect them against the inva-
sion of foreign industrial textiles, and in her ".
work she applies her pictorial talent to the -
creation of cotton and raffia textiles.
The project as a whole represents a splendid
collaboration between artists and creative -
people from across the world, with Africa ,
playing a central role, not as a place of nos-- '_
talgic exoticism, but as a source of ideas for
the renewal of contemporary creative pro-
duction. The pieces have been exhibited in
the showrooms of New York and will be put
up for sale. Their success is guaranteed.

Keywords
Contemporary art and design, Salone
del Mobile, M'Afrique, Patrizia Moroso,
Stephen Burks, Senegal, local craftsmen,
African fabrics.




: Sandra Federici



Swaziland:




Investing in Culture



In Mbabane, the capital of the small Kingdom of Swaziland, the sd.com art gallery has
been set up to increase the value of local artistic production, aiming to fight poverty
brought about by internal migration.


villages and move to the cities,
stimulated by the pull of pre-
sumably more desirable condi-
tions and opportunities in urban areas com-
bined with the push of deteriorating condi-
tions in rural areas. But usually, all that
awaits them is deterioration in their quality
of life and their health. Oppressed by pov-


erty, the need to find housing often forces
them into prostitution, which becomes their
only means of survival. They then inevitably
contract HIV.
The art galley sd.com in Mbabane, is try-
ing to prevent this from happening to
women from the villages of Mpolonjeni
and Ngomane. It supports these women by
employing them as embroiderers, working


on artwork, which is consequently mar-
keted. At the same time the gallery improves
their quality of life by providing water and
sanitation services for their poor houses.
This has a positive impact on their families,
and therefore on the whole village. The aim
is therefore to accompany them on a path
towards economic autonomy.


COURIER







Creativity


The idea belongs to Archie B. Magwaza,
an engineer who is the boss of a company
which rents and sells chemical toilets. It was
his idea to set up the gallery, which he could
manage carefully and determinedly along-
side his main job. He described the origins
of his passion for art:

"While I was studying in England I lived with
three French students who were studying
there as part of the 'Erasmus' programme,
and it was thanks to them that I discovered
the beauty and vitality of contemporary art.
My education continued in Tokyo, where I
started collecting examples of stimuli and
special techniques and methods for creating
contemporary art, to integrate on my return
to my home country."

It was in this way that Archie began working
as an art promoter, establishing sd.com a
gallery and studio as well as a coffee shop
serving excellent Italian espresso. He also
set up an interesting enterprise researching
and promoting local contemporary art. His
main aim is that of encouraging the growth
of local artists, by organising residencies for
qualified visiting artists, in collaboration
with organizations from various countries,
such as the Nucleo de Arte in Maputo, the
South African Bad Factory, la Fondazione
Gulbenkian and l'Alliance Franaise. In
January 2008 he organised the exhibition
'11 artists from Africa Remix -Fringe
Touring Exhibition'.

"I aim to promote the practice of collecting
in the upper classes of my country. I think
it is fair that those who have the economic
means invest in art and not just in luxury
goods. I myself am a collector, and every
three years I exhibit my collection in a
museum. I would also like to organise an
exhibition made up of the royal collection
of art: the King is an important figure here
and this would greatly inspire the collective
imagination."

Before leaving, Archie showed us his lat-
est project: he has bought an amphitheatre
which was used for the settling of iron ore
(in Swaziland iron mining was once very
important). It is situated a few kilometres
from Mbabane, and is now abandoned,
and he plans to transform it into a space for
large-scale musical and theatrical events.
As the amphitheatre is already in place, in a


striking natural setting of rocks of iron ore,
all that is necessary is the fitting of seating,
staging and lights. The old miners' accom-
modation has already been transformed into
shops and workshops for local craftswomen.
This is a private project, locally financed
predominantly from private sources, with a
business plan starting in January 2010 and
covering a period of 18 months.

Swaziland is therefore not just a country of
impressive natural scenery and traditional


ethnic culture, packaged ad hoc to attract
tourists. The sd.com gallery is an example of
investment in contemporary artistic produc-
tion which has been created autonomously,
with an outlook that is open to international
cooperation and exchange.



Keywords
sd.com Gallery, Swaziland, Archie B.
Magwaza, contemporary art, local artistic
production, poverty, women.


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009





C


Keywords
Gado, Puppet show, satire, Kenya, Kibaki, TV series.


Desktop wallpapers, free downloadable on the XYZ Show
reativity website: http://www.xyzshow.com


Elisabetta Degli Esposti Merli


Kenya: the Winds of Change
Wholly locally produced, The XYZ Show is a TV series that uses rubber puppets
to tackle serious political issues.





/I


-fir NA NoTirfN6
eVEN F MiANY Fra
tiMATI THYi 3EL ON
1oA $effie7, M entii4
GRUw, A 5ANGI...

ir^J


J 1,iocRACt

'.. f",.


By Clez, cartoonist from Burkina Faso
www.glez.org


N. 13 N.E. SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2009


or younger readers

Tribes and Democracy


-"











Words from


Readers

About the article "Blogs: a meeting room for
African cartoonists"
This sounds great. We can meet and chat
the world over without passports and still
be known the world over. The cartoons are
starting to get their global recognition share
on the net. Thanks to techno!


Mtheto Lip Smile Lungu (South Africa)


We are interested in
your point of view
and your reactions
to the articles.
So do tell us what
you think.


Corrigendum


A letter, dated 31 July 2009, from Ms Cristina
Calabr, desk officer at the European
Commission for Dominica, Grenada, Saint
Lucia and The Grenadines, asks us to com-
municate the comments below related to the
Report on Dominica and Grenada (issue
No 11) :

Article "EC aid. A recompense for good gov-
ernance" (Issue 11, page 40):

"Under the 10th EDF for Dominica the
main focal area is General Budget Support,
whereas the projects mentioned in the article
as falling under the 10th EDF pertain either
to the SFA Banana programme or to the 9th
EDF, under which Infrastructure was the
main sector of intervention. If we want to
be more precise, the sentence '[...] the set-
ting up, or rehabilitation of several agricul-
tural facilities to increase {emphasis added}
exports of bananas [...]' is also questionable,


since, given the constant decline in exported
bananas in the last decades, the Dominican
industry is struggling to maintain produc-
tion/access to the European market rather
than trying to increase numbers."
"...it is hinted that the objective of the
Special Framewark of Assistance is 'to offset
the impact of dwindling banana exports',
which is not correct, as the objective of the
SFA scheme was either improving tradition-
al suppliers' competitiveness or supporting
their diversification efforts"
"In the footnote at the end of the same arti-
cle, Haiti is listed as a signatory of the EPA,
which is not true as Haiti has not signed
the agreement yet" "... on both countries
(Dominica and Grenada) some confusion
arises between the SFA scheme -which
was funded through an EC budget line and
expired in December 2008 -and the EDF
cycles. They are two different instruments
and it should be clearly said."


e. i- -: w- -. i.


Agenda

OCTOBER-
DECEMBER 2009



> From Exhibition: L'Art d'tre un
15/10 homme Afrique, Ocanie
Muse Dapper, Paris, France

>22 European Development
24/10 Days 2009 Stockholm, Sweden.
Website: http://www.eudevdays.eu/

>27 9th Eurafric-Partners
30/10 Forum. Theme: Water and Energy
in Africa. Lyon Convention Centre,
France
For more information, visit: http://
www.eurafric.org/ (in French)



>02 Food Security 2009:
03/1 1 The Hunger Agenda in a Global
Recession Chatham House,
London, UK
http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/
foodsecurity09/


>1 1 2009 African
13/11 Economic Conference seminar)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

>1 2 UNRISD International
13/11 conference on 'Social and
Political Dimensions of the
Global Crisis: Implications for
Developing Countries'
Geneva, Switzerland

>1 6 90th Session of the
18/11 ACP Council ofMinisters,
Brussels, Belgium

>25 /1 18th Session of
03/12 the ACP Parliamentary and
18th Session of the ACP-EU
Joint Parliamentary Association
Luanda, Angola


>27 Commonwealth
29/11 Heads of Government Meeting
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago




>07 UN Climate Change
18/12 Conference
http://unfccc.int/2860.php
Copenhagen, Denmark

> 10 World Congress of
13/12 NGOs 'Enhancing Human
Dignity: The Role ofNGOs'
http://www.wango.org/congress/
Manila, Philippines


COURIER


MEDIR DEUEOPMEn






Ii
i ii Ca b I I -l a i i

and European Union countries II IIIII ~LI


EUROPElI ui101
Austria ebIium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Delnnnrk Estonia Finland Fiance
Gerruar,.iee WlI.junjIrieriv Itt L-fav ia UIanpj Lu embturg Multa Netherands i
i%:iL,L.il F *.tjI *:r.i ,. I.jJ hi ..-l k:.7 J i U n id Kingdom


The lists cf counters putig hed by The Courirdo not prejudbe the status of tbse cou ntries and territores ncw or in the future. Tbe &Jurkr& uses rraps fr[m aa riert of souioes.
The ir use dms not imply recog nition of any particu l r bou rda ries norprejudice the satus of any state orterritoiy.


AFRICA
Angola Benin DDtwna Ffir-irj Fso Burundi Canneroen Cape Vlede CentralAfrican
Republb Chad Ccmoros Co'.a1 (Rep. -1) C5d Ivoire Demrocratb Republk of the
Congo Djibouti E1iu.Ai-rnjI G' irif Err.iF EDi.:.p Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea
Guinea-Pissau KE rh.j Le'i:htlu. LtWrIa Masmc rMalawi Mali Mauritaula Mauritius
Mozambkiue Namibi Ng er Nigeria Rwanda Sao Torm and Pnncipe Senegal
Seychelbls Serra Leone c Uganda Zambia Zimbabe


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